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Ray Harry Witt

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Ray Harry Witt Obituary
WITT, RAY HARRY; founder of CMI International, Inc.; died at the age of 82 on February 6, 2011 in West Bloomfield with his family at his side. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Witt moved to Michigan as a teenager and was a graduate of the Muskegon Junior College. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgy from Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, Ohio, now known as Case Western Reserve. He was a recipient of one of the first Foundry Educational Foundation Scholarships. Through the years, Mr. Witt continued his active association with both Case and the Foundry Educational Foundation and, in May 1984, he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate degree from Case Western Reserve for his contributions to and advancement of metallurgical and foundry education and programs. The schools Metallurgical Modeling and Research Laboratory is named after him. Mr. Witt began his career in 1947 as an apprentice at the C.W.C. Foundry. In 1952, he became Sales Manager for Cadillac Malleable Iron Company where he remained until 1957, when he established his own company, Ray H. Witt Industries. He later purchased his former employer. In 1960, Mr. Witt founded Cast Metal Industries Inc., which Ray H. Witt Industries was merged into in 1974. In 1983, the corporate name was changed to CMI International Inc., in order to better reflect the more diverse and global activities of the company. CMI became one of the largest independent suppliers of machined and assembled, cast and molded products to the automotive and light truck industries, with operations in many states, Mexico and Norway. It was a leader in its industry, known for its investment in technology that utilized the most advanced computer–aided design and engineering and manufacturing hardware and software. In 1999, CMI was sold to Hayes Lemmerz International Inc. Ray Witt was the past President of the American Foundrymen's Society (AFS), the Ductile Iron Society, the Foundry Education Foundation (FEF) and the Iron Casting Society. He received a Gold Medal Award from AFS in 2003. "Ray was considered one of the giants of our industry," commented John Jorstad, an AFS Director and former CMI consultant. "He was dearly loved by those who had the honor to work for and with him." Mr. Witt was named Michigan Master Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997 and in 1999 Worcester Polytechnic Institute renamed their Aluminum Casting Research Laboratory the ACRL – Ray H. Witt Metalcasting Center. Mr. Witt is survived by his three daughters, Susy Petros, Judy Witt, and Mary (David) Hawkins; five grandsons and two great-grandsons. A Memorial Service celebrating his life and achievements will be held at a later date. Donations in his memory can be made to the Foundry Education Foundation (www.fefinc.org).
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Published in The Oakland Press from Feb. 13 to Feb. 14, 2011
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