Mickey Wittman, 74, a longtime blimp advocate who worked 25 years with Goodyear Airship Operations, June 4. Wittman was among those credited with beginning and popularizing aerial sports broadcasting from the blimp, now prevalent in today's TV sportscasts. During his career with Goodyear, he directed the blimp in covering more than 2,500 live sports events, including six Olympics, 30 World Series, 26 Super Bowls and countless college football games.
Steven Ray Hemstreet, 71, former Warco Biltrite chairman who spent 48 years with the company, July 8. Hemstreet began his career at Warco in 1971, and from 1971-77 he performed 18 different functions within the factory and laboratory, according to Warco. He was promoted to vice president in 1977 and was named president in 1983. He acquired an option to purchase the company in 1986 and, in 1992, exercised it along with his two partners—H. Conrad Blackerby and Benjamin Harrison.
John Byers, 77, spent more than four decades in the rubber industry in various roles, July 24. Byers was active in the ACS Rubber Division, wrote numerous industry papers and served as editor for rubber industry text books. His Rubber Division work included teaching courses and writing papers for Rubber Chemistry & Technology. He was director of administration, served on the Legal Committee and contributed to the Education, Best Paper and Poster Session Committees. In 2004, Byers received the Rubber Division's Arnold Smith Special Service Award. He became an emeritus member of the association in 2009.
Paul Standley, 75, a four-decade veteran of the rubber industry, Aug. 2. He was involved in the rubber industry for more than four decades, starting with his 1970 graduation with a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Kent State University.
Alfred Lampl, 89, a 25-year veteran of Engel Group, Oct. 15. One of his greatest achievements was in playing a key role in the landmark Engel tie-barless technology for injection molding machines, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Together with Georg Schwarz and the head of design engineering, Heinz Leonhartsberger, Lampl and the team broke with the long-held design principle that an injection molding press must have four tie-bars.
Ron Hoover, 78, ex-chair of the United Steelworkers union's Rubber and Plastics Industry Council, Oct. 29. Hoover spent 45 years in the tire industry, beginning his career at Goodyear's Topeka, Kan., manufacturing facility and eventually joining the United Rubber Workers Local 307, which merged with the USW in 1995.