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Robert J. Lanigan


1928 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Robert J. Lanigan Obituary
Robert J. Lanigan

4/26/28 - 9/12/18

Bob Lanigan was born on April 26, 1928 in Brooklyn, NY to John and Katherine Lanigan. He graduated from St. Francis College in Brooklyn in 1949 with a degree in economics and later receiving an Honorary Doctorate degree.

Bob stated work at Owens-Illinois in 1950 at O-I Fairmont WV glass container plant.

Bob married Mary Elizabeth McCormick on December 30, 1950 and moved to Toledo working in administration and became a senior industrial engineer. He then became an assisted to the head of the glass container division where he was assigned a number of projects. Bob was then transferred to the forest products division where he became the head of administration. Subsequently he was promoted to head the forest products divisions paper mill operations including it's 5 mills. He then became the head of corporate planning reporting to the CEO and President. O-I bought Lily Tulip in 1969 and he was selected to run that company. In 1972 he was made head of the glass container division, O-I largest division. In 1975 he was named executive vice President of the company, general manager of a packaging group. He became president and COO of Domestic Operations and subsequently president of International Operations in 1979. He became chairman and CEO in 1984.

In 1987 O-I was acquired by Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts (KKR) in a leverage buy-out, keeping its headquarters in Toledo. In 1988 O-I acquired Brockway Glass Company, which was challenged by the Federal Trade Commission over anti trust concerns. O-I prevailed in asserting the relative market was all containers not just glass. Bob retired in 1990 after 40 years of service.

At various times while serving at O-I and in his retirement, he served on many boards of public companies, including Dun&Bradstreet, Hershey, Chrysler, Diamlar, Sonat, Transocean, Coleman, Cognizant, IMS Health and The Toledo Trust Company.

He was also on the board of private company Barry–Wehmiller from 1980 to the present, while the company grew from $70 million to $3 billion.

Bob also became a cofounder and investor in Palladium LLC, a New York private equity firm. His national reputation as a business executive was critical in giving credibility to this new company. He helped in forming a management team, raising operating capital and soliciting for investment.

Locally, Bob served as Chairman of The Toledo Symphony Orchestra and was a significant contributor to the Promedica Toledo Hospital generations tower.

In his retirement Bob's main focus was on his family. Weekly Sunday dinners were full of humor and warmth. He and Betty took their children and spouses on trips to Ireland, Argentina, and on a cruise of the Alaska inside passage. He actively followed his grandchildren and great-grandchildren's education and sports activities. Playing tennis, snow skiing in Colorado and golfing with them was great fun for him. He loved to fish, hunt and we're sure he has seen every western and war movie ever made.

Bob was predeceased in death by his wife, Betty; parents, and sister, Helen Ahearn.

He is survived by his children, Kenneth Lanigan (Kim), Betty Jane "B.J." Snavely (David), Kathryn Pilewskie (Mark), Jeanne Schafer (Dr. Richard) and Suzanne Lanigan (Anthony Donofrio). Papa will always be remembered with love by his grandchildren, Taylor Lanigan, Caitlin Acampa (John-Claude), D. Robert Snavely (Elizabeth), Thomas Snavely, Kyle (Keith) Newnham, Jane Pilewskie, Anthony "A.J." Georgetti and Spencer Georgetti as well as 5 great-grandchildren. He also was loved by numerous step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Jane McGuire.

The Lanigan family is extremely grateful to Leigh Prebe, executive assistant for 20 years, whom he depended on for all business concerns and many family needs. Her patience and love for us all will never be forgotten.

Additionally many thanks to Gloria Green, his home health care professional, for her tireless and outstanding care for our dad over the last two years. Your wonderful care will always be greatly appreciated.

We are also so grateful for the excellent care and friendship from Dr. Thomas MCAlear, Dr. James Bingle, Dr. Rex Mowat and Dr. Douglas Paone, Naples, FL

A Mass of Resurrection will be held on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at Christ the King Church, 4100 Harvest Lane, Toledo, OH with Father Bill Rose presiding.

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Christ the King Church, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Ohio/SE Michigan 24359 Northwestern Highway, Suite 125, Southfield, MI 48075, or a .



View the online memorial for Robert J. Lanigan4/26/28 - 9/12/18
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Published in Toledo Blade from Sept. 16 to Sept. 17, 2018
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