FULLERTON, Calif. (June 7, 2012)—Lefter “Lefty” G. Parasson, founder of Parasson Corp. in Fullerton, died May 23 at the age of 77 after a long battle with cancer.
The rubber industry veteran and one of the founders of the Northeast Ohio Rubber Group started his career in a factory, moved to sales and climbed the ladder to executive posts. He created detailed reference material still in use today, modernized some of the approaches to rubber mixing and ultimately launched his own company during his 53 years in the business.
Parasson joined the industry as a production worker for Goodyear in 1955 and later began pursuing his degree at Kent State University while working at the plant at night. At the tire maker, he gained hands-on experience building and testing hose, producing polymers, and stock preparation for mixing and calendaring, he said in a 2010 interview.
After graduating from Kent State in 1964, he joined American Cyanamid, selling rubber chemicals. In 1968, Parasson took a position selling neoprene and butyl rubber for Petro-Tex in Houston, where he was promoted to sales manager. He moved on to Bayer Corp. in 1977.
From there he headed out to the West Coast to join the Master Processing Division of Bandag Corp. in Long Beach, Calif., as vice president of sales and marketing.
After Bandag decided to discontinue its custom mixing operation in the early 1990s, Parasson moved out on his own and started Parasson Corp.—which focused on the sale of rubber chemicals, laboratory equipment and rubber injection molding equipment—in 1993.
In 2006, he retired and sold the business to Aurora Rubber & Distribution Inc.
His many contributions to the rubber industry were recognized in late 2009 when the Los Angeles Rubber Group awarded him its highest honor: the Honorary Life Membership Award, the 40th member in the group's 83-year history to receive the honor. He had been a member of the group for 30 years.
He also was a member of the ACS Rubber Division, and served on local arrangement committees and in other posts with the association.
Parasson was active in two barber shop singing groups, according to William Krames, CEO and president of Whittier, Calif.-based Santa Fe Rubber Products Inc. and a longtime friend of Parasson.
He was a gifted singer, Krames said, and remained active in barber shop quartet and chorus singing for 56 years.
In Ohio, the baritone sang with the Akromatics, a district champion group, and in California he was a member of the five-time international champion Masters of Harmony chorus and later Mutual Fun, an award winning seniors' quartet.
Parasson is survived by his wife of 51 years, Connie; children Danny, Penny and Patrick; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a contribution be made to the TLARGI Undergraduate Scholarship Fund or Harmony Foundation Lefter Parasson Scholarship, 110 7th Ave. N., Nashville, Tenn. 37203.