After notching nearly 40 years in both manufacturing and distributing, one of coin-op’s most hard-charging salesmen passed away the night of July 5 at the Adventist Hospital in Glendale, Calif. Johnny Lotz has taken his leave, but gave so many people in this business memories of a guy who could be as much a good friend as a dedicated worker. He was 71 when he died.
John had been feeling so weak days before his death that his wife Kathy, with brother Trey and sister Joanne, decided to admit him to the hospital. (Previously, he’d felt so poorly, he did the unusual thing and bypassed the Bowl Expo in Las Vegas where he was scheduled to represent his latest employer, Sacoa.)
Death was attributed to heart failure after he developed pneumonia and had to be placed on breathing assistance. After two code red alerts revealed this to be a very sick man, the doctors decided to let him rest. Besides Kathy, Trey and Joanne, he is survived by Kathy’s niece Natasha, whom they’d adopted when she was eleven years of age.
While Johnny Lotz spent the second half of his almost 40 years in the coin machine business representing various manufacturers, he’ll be remembered by more trade people as the top man at Betson West Distributing, the prominent West Coast dealership he joined back in 1981 as Vending Sales Manager and eventually worked his way up to the top spot. It was the first job he’d taken after relocating to Southern California, and to his girlfriend Kathy, after working in the entertainment field in his native New York State.
John left Betson around 2001. Companies he’d go on to represent included Triotech, Medalist, Benchmark, Apple, LAI Games and most recently, Sacoa, the PlayCard company he joined less than two months ago. At Sacoa, he’d been trained in their software line by Brian Duke who told RePlay how much he regretted John’s passing because he looked very much forward to working with him. “Johnny was a pal, and a workaholic who gave his all to whoever he worked for. It’s our loss as well as the family’s and the industry’s,” he said.
In lieu of a funeral, John will be cremated; a family memorial gathering will take place later in July for only the closest relatives and friends. His successor at Betson West, Ron Hunt, said it all when he told RePlay: “Johnny was a very talented salesman. He will surely be missed.” Rest in God’s peace.