Kettle Gryp co-founder and Shark Tank star Andy Thomas has died after battling cancer, according to his obituary.
Thomas, 47, was honored in a heartbreaking tribute shown on Shark Tank on Friday, where he made a mark on viewers after his high-energy performance earned him a $30,000 contract with Lori Greiner.
Shark Lori Greiner revealed the shocking news during Friday’s episode and also honored Thomas on Twitter.
“In memory of Andrew Thomas Beloved husband and father, intrepid Marine, dearest of friends. Co-founder of Kettle Gryp,” she wrote.
“There you are Andrew! A true American hero, beloved husband, father and friend to so many. Your hard work and dedication to @KettleGryp and your partner Daniel will live on. Happy to be partners and help fulfill your legacy with Caldera Gryp.”
Thomas served as a United States Marine Corps helicopter pilot for two decades.
His wife, Carolyn Walz, confirmed the news of his December passing on Facebook this week when she asked her friends to tune in to Friday’s Shark Tank episode.
“If you’re so inclined, tune in to Shark Tank at 8pm on ABC this Friday. My husband, Andy, and his business partner, Dan, will appear as they try to convince sharks to invest in Kettle Gryp,” Walz. wrote.
“They recorded a couple of weeks before Andy got sick. With a broken heart, I will be rooting for him and will always be proud of the amazing man he was and the beautiful life he lived.”
Friday’s Shark Tank saw Thomas and his business partner Dan Sheppard walk away with a $30,000 deal from Greiner, but the episode ended with the news that Thomas had passed away.
Fans of the show were quick to react to the shocking news and praised the fitness enthusiast online.
One Twitter user wrote: “I was heartbroken to have seen this at the end of the show and here. He was so full of life and so happy and honored to be on the show.
“Andrew, sir, we are honored to have crossed YOUR path. Daniel and Lori will carry on the vision.”
Another added: “How many pitchers use their ‘sad story’ to gain sympathy? Sometimes it’s genuine but other times it seems contrived. And here this guy was battling cancer and never said a word or used it to gain sympathy for his launch”.
Thomas co-founded the Pangloin Design group with one of his childhood friends, and later also co-founded Kettle Gryp, which went to Shark tank for potential investments.
The Kettle Gryp exercise tool is described as a way to provide the client with “unique exercises that build functional strength and range of motion.”
The website noted that kettlebells can be expensive and not easy to transport, but this tool allows you to carry them around easily and is lightweight.
Thomas is survived by his wife Caroline and son Rex.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism