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Distinguished Graduate: Gerald G. Loehr

 

loehrGerald G. Loehr, BSIE '52, had a rewarding career as an industrial engineering executive with firms developing new technologies in fields ranging from long-range missiles to deep-sea exploration and high-speed computers. Born and raised in Bellfontaine, Ohio, Gerry graduated from Ohio University in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering. He then served for two years as a lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He spent most of his professional career in California.

In his 12 years with Aerojet General, Gerry managed Minuteman and Polaris missile contracts. He later joined Straza Industries which was eventually purchased by Ametek Corporation. Loehr was appointed as executive vice president of western operations for Ametek which included directing operations for 16 companies and 22 plants. The resulting corporation developed new technologies for deep-sea robotic vehicles. Ametek's submersibles were used for purposes ranging from finding sunken treasure or crashed airliners to operating undersea gas and oil wells. He retired from Ametek in 1989 and became chairman and chief executive officer of Tools & Metals, Inc., a supplier for national aeronautical firms. Gerry held those positions until his untimely death in 1997. He was also an investor and board member of two other firms (Aurora Technologies and Myricom Corporation), one involving high-speed computers, the other developing new technologies in medical equipment. According to his wife, Linda, "Gerry thoroughly enjoyed making a success out of a business. He felt engineering was a way for him to pursue an interesting, successful career."

While a student at Ohio University, Gerry was active in the Lambda Chi Fraternity. In later years, he served on the Russ. College's Board of Visitors and Major Gifts Committee, taking a very active role the Third Century Campaign. In 1993 Gerry established the Gerald G. Loehr Professorship. The professorship, currently held by Dr. James R. Fales, was established to recognize sustained performance in teaching, research, scholarship, and service on the part of a faculty member in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. He received the Ohio University Alumni Association's Medal of Merit in 1994. Gerry also spearheaded the drive for the development of the Robe Leadership Institute which offers students the opportunity to study leadership styles and meet engineers and other entrepreneurs who are successful leaders in their areas of expertise.

In addition to his wife, Linda, Gerry is survived by four children, two stepchildren, and 11 grandchildren.

 

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