Dr. Robert Hart Read of Portland, Indiana, passed away Monday, May 5, 2014, at age 86, after a long illness.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Martha. Bob was born in Franklin to Roy E. and Nona (Hart) Read. Bob's parents and younger brother, James Allen Read, preceded him in death. After high school in Franklin, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy
, serving as an aviation photographers' mate, 1946 to 1950. Bob married his high school sweetheart, Martha Irene Smith.
He graduated Illinois College with a B.A. in mathematics and earned an M.S. in physics and a Ph.D. in metallurgy from Penn State in 1955. Bob's career began as a research supervisor in Chicago at the Armour Research Foundation of the Illinois Institute of Technology. A job offer from the Atlas Steel Company took the family to Ontario, Canada, in 1962 where Bob was manager of research and development. Bob joined Teledyne, at Vasco in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in 1973 as Vice President development and planning, and in 1976 became general manager of Portland Forge of Portland, Indiana. He retired in 1990 as president of Portland Forge and Teledyne's Forging and Foundry Group. In retirement Bob was a business consultant, area director of Indiana Manufacturing Technology Services, and taught management at Ball State, Indiana University
and Earlham College.
Bob and Martha made Portland their home for the past 38 years and cultivated many friendships in the community. They enjoyed visitors to their rural home where they transformed the acreage from an empty field to a tree filled park with a pond, orchard, flower and vegetable gardens.
Those who knew Bob were well acquainted with his outgoing nature, sense of humor and his passion for people. He volunteered his time and was honored by many service organizations for his leadership, energy and efforts. Most recently he served as board chairman of the Portland Homeless Shelter. Other organizations in which he served and lead include the Portland Rotary Club
, Cincinnatus League, Jay County United Way, Private Industry Council, Chamber of Commerce, and the Masonic Lodge. In 1981, he was recipient of the Illinois College Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Bob was an active member of the Presbyterian Church leading Sunday school, singing in the choir and serving as an elder.
Bob was an entertaining storyteller. Fond memories of the people in Franklin were the focus of his many anecdotes, some of which became his short stories. Writing and reading were only two of his hobbies which included fishing, gardening, woodworking, and photography. He was as proud to be the grandson of a blacksmith as he was to have travelled the world. He was loved by his family which includes daughter Dr. Holly A. Read and her husband Scott Maul of Libertyville, daughter Jennifer R. Murray and her husband Brian of Scottsdale, Arizona, son James R. Read and his wife Alice, of Hilton, New York, and three grandchildren, Matthew Read of Memphis, Tennessee, Rachel Pander of Portland, Oregon, and Benjamin Read and his wife Kim of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and their daughter, Charlotte Grace.
Services are 11 a.m. Saturday in the First Presbyterian Church, Portland, Indiana. Memorials may be made to the church.