Sport Chalet founder Norbert Olberz, who expanded a Southern California ski and tennis shop into a sporting goods superstore chain of 55 outlets in four Western states, has died at his La Canada Flintridge home at 86.

The company says in a website tribute that Olberz died last week of natural causes.

A memorial service will be at noon Friday at Descanso Gardens.

Olberz, a native of Germany who was Sport Chalet chief executive officer for four decades, embraced the core principals “Take it to the Limit” and “I Guarantee It.” When it went public in 1995, he urged the company “to not be the biggest, but the best.”

The La Canada Flintridge store opened in 1959. There are 55 Sport Chalets in California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah.

In the East Valley, there are locations in Chandler, Tempe and Queen Creek.

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