(From the July 11, 2011, issue of Rubber & Plastics News)
TAMPA, Fla.—Longtime rubber industry veteran Albert W. Beucker, 91, died June 27 in Tampa.
Beucker graduated in 1940 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a chemical engineer. He held nu¼merous patents during his 46 years in the rubber industry at Ray¼bes¼tos Manhattan and Beloit Manhattan. Following his retirement, Beucker continued as a consultant.
He was active in the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the ACS Rubber Division. He won the countdown at the Rubber Division's 25-Year Club Luncheon at the Fall 1993 meeting in Orlando for the attendee with the most experience in the industry—57 years at the time.
Beucker is remembered by many who worked with him in the industry over the years. “As a fresh general manager in 1989 at Beloit Manhattan, it was Al, 40 years my senior, who 'gave me an education,'” said Dave Holt, a director with Vail Rubber Works Inc. “He was so powerful with his measured words. As time went along, he always treated me with the utmost kindness.”
Arthur Kuehn, a former vice president at Stowe Woodward, called Beucker “the brains behind Manhattan Rubber in Passaic, N.J.”
Peter Schloth, a former plant manager and general manager at Beloit Manhattan, called Beucker brilliant. “He taught me more about rubber compounding and project management than anyone else I encountered in my career,” Schloth said. “I owe much of my success to him.”
Bill Hanlon, also of Vail Rubber Works, said that Beucker and Kuehn were the strongest technical minds of the RMA's former Roll Covering Subdivision. Hanlon consulted with both of them in the 1980s when Vail was considering hiring an engineer. Kuehn made a case for a mechanical engineer and Beucker for a chemical one. Vail now has both.
“When I think of Al the picture of him that comes to mind is Al standing in the sun, bald head shining, with his hands in the pockets of his baggy khakis, laughing, talking, and sort of swaying forward and backward,” Hanlon said.
Beucker is survived by his wife of 61 years, Louise; children Albert and Heidi; and grandchildren.