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 he 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 start his consulting firm, which did a variety of projects, including dealer price surveys, inventory reports and schedules. Taking over Smithers allowed the business to do its own testing and expand services. Today it does research, testing and management and technical consulting for 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 CEO. He relinquished the CEO position to his son, Michael, in 1996, when Michael was elected Smithers' president.
Among various honors, the elder Mr. Hochschwender was inducted into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife Mary ``Bo'' Koger; children Lynn Anne McGowin; Herman Karl Jr.; Irene Harris; James E.; J. Michael; and Patricia A. Mosely; six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.