Lee J. Vandenberg
Lee J. Vandenberg died on May 3, 2020. He was born in Paterson, NJ in 1928 and graduated from Clifton High School in 1946, receiving the Bausch and Lomb Award in Science. After serving in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Panama, he graduated from Ohio University summa cum laude with a B.S. in Chemistry, where he was elected to Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Beta Kappa. He pursued graduate studies in chemistry at Columbia University before joining BFGoodrich in Akron in 1952. He served in various technical and managerial positions in the Tire Division R&D department, eventually becoming Senior Vice President of Tire R&D. Early in his career he developed the aircraft tire compounds used on the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. Most of his career was spent in the compound and materials development area, obtaining several patents for his work. He retired from the Uniroyal/Goodrich Tire Co. in 1991 as Vice President of R&D.
He was active in the Akron Rubber Group for many years, serving as Chairman in 1976-77. He was a longtime Freemason at Star Lodge #187 in Cuyahoga Falls, and was a member of Portage Country Club, Northampton Baptist Church, and the Rubber Division American Chemical Society. He also served on the Advisory Council-College of Engineering, Akron University and the Advisory Council of the Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Societies. He served as trustee of the Akron Symphony in 1988-91.
He was interested in military history, particularly the Civil War and WWII, and was a student of the financial markets. He volunteered for many years at Akron City Hospital after his retirement.
Lee is survived by his wife of 57 years, Carol (nee Moss); son, Dr. Scott Vandenberg and wife, Dr. Kristin Bennett, of Averill Park, NY; and two granddaughters, Emelyn and Abigail Vandenberg, both of California.
Private services with Military Honors will be held 3:00 P.M. SATURDAY, May 9, 2020 at Northampton Cemetery with Reverend John Demund officiating. The service will be live streamed to the Billow Facebook page, www.facebook.com/BillowFuneralHomes. A memorial service at Portage Country Club will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Salvation Army, 190 S. Maple St., Akron, OH 44302, or the American Red Cross, 501 W Market St, Akron, OH 44303. Services in care of The Billow Funeral Homes & Crematory, 85 N. Miller Road, Akron, OH 44333. (Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel)
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