Lee J. Vandenberg, a rubber industry veteran who built his career with BFGoodrich and was active in the ACS Rubber Division, died May 3.
Born in 1928 in Paterson, N.J., Vandenberg graduated from Clifton High School in 1946, receiving the Bausch and Lomb Award in Science.
After high school, he served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Panama, and later attended Ohio University, graduating a bachelor's degree in chemistry. He went on to pursue graduate studies in chemistry at Columbia University.
Vandenberg began his rubber industry career in 1952 when he joined BFGoodrich. There, he served in various technical and managerial positions in the Tire Division Research and Development Department before eventually being named senior vice president of tire R&D.
During his career, Vandenberg obtained several patents for his work, which primarily was focused on the compound and materials development areas. Among his accomplishments was the development of aircraft tire compounds used on the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane.
Vandenberg retired from the Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co. in 1991 as vice president of R&D.
A member of the Rubber Division, Vandenberg was active in the Akron Rubber Group for many years, and served as chairman from 1976-77. He also served on the Advisory Council-College of Engineering at the University of Akron and the Advisory Council of the Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Societies.
Passionate about military history, Vandenberg was particularly interested in the Civil War and World War II. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Carol (nee Moss); son, Scott Vandenberg and wife, Kristin Bennett, of Averill Park, NY; and two granddaughters, Emelyn and Abigail Vandenberg, both of California.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to the Salvation Army, 190 S. Maple St., Akron, OH 44302, or the American Red Cross, 501 W Market St., Akron, OH 44303.