By Michelle Graff
Andrew S. Kroungold, better known in the jewelry industry as “Andy the Tool Guy,” died last week at a hospital in Youngsville, Louisiana.
Lafayette, La.—Andrew S. Kroungold, the longtime Stuller employee better known as “Andy the Tool Guy,” died last Wednesday morning at a hospital in Youngsville, Louisiana.

He was 66 years old. 

In a statement issued immediately following Kroungold’s passing, Stuller said: “Andy’s infectious personality and joyous outlook on life put a smile on everyone’s face that he encountered.

“He was beloved by our Stuller family and equally beloved by our customers.”

Born July 26, 1953, Kroungold spent most of his life in Youngsville, a suburb of Lafayette.

He was on the swim team in high school and attended college at Florida International University, earning a bachelor’s degree in business.

Kroungold started his career in the jewelry industry with jewelers’ equipment and supply company Swest Inc. in Atlanta in the 1980s.

He was hired by Stuller in 1999.

He held a variety of jobs in his 20 years at Stuller, mostly recently working as tools business director.

News of Kroungold’s death generated an outpouring of remembrances online, with many describing him as a great man who was helpful and knowledgeable.

A fixture at jewelry trade shows nationwide, he was “the man” for many independent jewelers when it came to tool needs.

On National Jeweler’s Facebook page, one commenter said “The Tool Guy” assisted her in assembling her “dream bench.”

“As a jeweler starting out, it has meant the world to me,” she wrote.

“I’ll never forget him and what he did. My most heartfelt condolences to his family and the Stuller family as well. We have lost a great one.”

Another commenter wrote: “I will miss this gentle giant of a man, and will think of him often as I use the endless tools and equipment he helped me with, and I will especially miss the exchange we would have when I call in … about some new tool or piece of equipment.

“I know Andy will be greatly missed by his family and our industry community. It isn’t often that a person becomes famous in their trade simply by doing their job with passion, love and personality.”

WATCH: Faces of Stuller - Andy Kroungold

In a profile created for the company’s video series “Faces of Stuller” in 2018, Kroungold said he earned the nickname “The Tool Guy” before he even started at Stuller.

Over the course of his career, he built relationships with customers that spanned generations, selling tools to jewelers and then, years later, selling to their children and grandchildren when they took over the family business.  

“I work hard to provide honesty, respect and salesmanship to my customers every time,” Kroungold said in the video. “My goal is to make the customer happy so they will always come back.”

His colleagues at Stuller said “Andy the Tool Guy” will be missed by everyone.

“Andy was a great man, trusted colleague, and good friend who will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched,” Ken Dugas, Stuller’s customer events logistics manager, said.

“There is no other Andy; no one else in the industry like him,” said Vice President of Merchandising Tammy Lail.

“I was fortunate to not only work with him, but to love him as family. He will be deeply missed by so many.”

Kroungold is survived by his son, Robert L. Kroungold, and daughter-in-law, Hannah L. Kroungold, of Dallas; sister, Amy Mittelberg, and brother-in-law, Rickey Mittelberg; one nephew, Brian Mittelberg; two nieces, Rachel Cohen and Alissa Mittelberg; and his grand-pups, Auggie and Dash.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Leon Kroungold and Marion Silver Kroungold.

Services were held Monday at Martin & Castille Funeral Home in Lafayette.

Barry L. Weinstein, the rabbi emeritus of Congregation B’nai Israel in Baton Rouge and rabbi of Temple Sinai of Lake Charles, Louisiana, conducted the services.

His son Robert served as pallbearer.

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