NEWTON, Iowa (Sept. 14) — Robert L. Smith, co-founder of Thombert Inc., died Aug 18 at the age of 90.
After serving as a major in the U.S. Army during World War II, he helped launch Thombert in 1946, according to Walt Smith, his son and the current top executive at both Thombert and ITWC Inc. He guided the company upward until it became one of the largest molders of polyurethane wheels and tires for electric fork lift trucks in North America, his son said.
Robert Smith was one of the founders of the Polyurethane Manufacturers Association in 1973. He also served as president of the Newton Chamber of Commerce, The Tall Corn Area Council and the Mid Iowa Council, Boy Scouts of America and numerous civic organizations. Following retirement from Thombert he served four terms as mayor of his hometown, Newton.