NAPLES, Fla. (April 29, 2005) — Herman K. Hochschwender, 85, chairman and former CEO of Smithers Scientific Services Inc., died April 28 at a hospice center in Naples.
Mr. Hochschwender, a native of Heidelberg, Germany, and Smithers have been synonymous since 1972 when Mr. Hochschwender bought Smithers Laboratories and merged it with his own consulting firm, Hochschwender & Associates Inc., to create Akron-based Smithers Scientific Services.
Mr. Hochschwender spent nearly his entire adult career in the rubber industry, including time at Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in Akron and Mohawk Rubber Co. in New York.
He left Mohawk in 1959 to found Hochschwender & Associates, a consultancy that did a variety of projects, including dealer price surveys, inventory reports and schedules. Taking over Smithers Laboratories allowed the business to do its own testing and expand its services. Today Smithers is active in research, testing and management and technical consulting to the tire, automotive, elastomeric, plastics, chemicals, metals and medical goods industries.
Mr. Hochschwender was president of Smithers until 1989 when he was elected chairman and chief executive officer. He relinquished the CEO position to his son, Michael Hochschwender in 1996, when Michael was elected Smithers' president.
The elder Mr. Hochschwender earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University in 1941 and moved to Akron in 1944. In 1994 he was inducted into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame at the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association (NTDRA) convention in Dallas.
He is survived by his wife Mary “Bo” Koger; children Lynn Anne McGowin; Herman Karl Jr. “Ted,” Irene Harris; James E.; J. Michael; and Patricia A. Mosely; six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Calling hours will be 4 to 7 p.m. May 3 at Billows Funeral Home in Akron, A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. May 4 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Akron.
Memorials may be made to the Akron General Development Foundation, 400 Wabash Avenue, Akron, Ohio 44307, or to the Women's Auxiliary Board, Akron City Hospital, 525 E. Market St., Akron 44303.