PAWLING, N.Y.—Roger W. Smith, who spent 30 years as president of diversified rubber and plastics products maker Pawling Corp., died May 11 at the age of 75 of kidney cancer.
Smith—who succeeded his father, Howard Smith, as president of Pawling—took the small, family-owned business to sales of more than $50 million and 350 employees during his tenure. He also served as chairman of Pawling for the last 25 years. After he retired in 2006 the firm split into two companies with different family ownership and management.
In 1996 the company adopted an Employee Stock Option Plan, which Smith at the time said ensured the firm would remain locally owned and operated.
Smith spent his entire career at Pawling, and was a visible figure in the industry for many years. He served as a board member of the Rubber Manufacturers Association, the rubber industry's primary trade association. He was very involved with the group's Molded Rubber Products Division, and he, his wife Betty and other family members were participants in many of the group's annual meetings.
Born in Worcester, Mass., Smith moved to Pawling, in the Berkshire Mountains about 65 miles from New York City, in 1946 when his father joined Pawling Rubber Corp. He was a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., and Columbia Business School.
Smith was a volunteer with many community groups and projects, serving as a board member and president of several organizations. He often traveled with this family to historical American landmarks, and helped promote local history events. In later years he and his wife traveled frequently to Europe, particularly England.
Besides his wife, Betty, he is survived by his daughter Stacey Delamere and her husband Kiernan of Sherman, Conn.; sons Todd of Pawling and Jason and his wife, Stephanie, of Pawling; sister Valerie Busby and her husband, Bob; brother Stephen and his wife Catharine; five grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and their children.
A memorial service takes place May 22 at 10 a.m. at the Christ Church on Quaker Hill in Pawling, followed by a reception at Lankler Hall. The family asked that contributions in his name be made to the church at 17 Church Road, Pawling, N.Y. 12564.