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Kenneth Edmund Wattman

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Kenneth Edmund Wattman Obituary
Kenneth Edmund Wattman

AGE: 85 • Chadds Ford

Kenneth (Ken) Edmund Wattman died peacefully at his home in Chadds Ford on February 7, 2014 at age 85. He will be remembered for his kind heart, warm smile and the keen intelligence he used to mentor others and cheer their successes.

Ken was born in Orange, NJ on February 9, 1928, the son of George Knut and Ruth Anderson Wattman. Raised in NJ and Fort Worth, TX, he graduated from Cornell University in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering. After graduation, he worked for Armour & Co. in Chicago, then served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Ken retired from a distinguished business career, after serving companies headquartered in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan for over 46 years. In 1996, he retired as president and director of Kao Corporation of America and Goldwell Cosmetics, USA. He was responsible for identifying American and European business opportunities, including the purchase of the Andrew Jergens Co., for Kao Corporation, the leading Japanese consumer products company.

He retired as a senior vice president, director, and member of the Executive Management Committee of ICI Americas in 1986 (the major US subsidiary of Imperial Chemical Industries). In 1955, he had joined Atlas Powder Company

and was in Brussels for two years leading Atlas's European operations at the time ICI acquired Atlas in 1971.

Always interested in international affairs, Ken was a member of State Department Trade missions to Spain, Yugoslavia, Poland and Russia. He was a vice president of the World Affairs Council of Wilmington and participated in National World Affairs Council (WAC) Leadership Missions to Jordan and NATO.

He and his wife Anne traveled extensively with Kao, the WAC and with family for the sheer joy of seeing new places. At home, Ken and Anne happily danced at every opportunity, played bridge with friends and traced his family in the US and Sweden, meeting congenial cousins along the way. He was proud of his Swedish heritage and belonged to the American Swedish Historical Museum's Genealogy Club. He was a member of the Wilmington Club and served as president of the Greenville Country Club. He was active in the First Church of Christ Scientist for almost 50 years.

Ken was honored for his more than 40 years service on the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army in Delaware and was chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee. He was an active member of the Chemical Heritage Foundation's Robert Boyle Society and a former member of the Chemist's Club.

An avid fly fisherman, Ken fished all over the world from Russia to New Zealand, Argentina to Canada. His favorite fishing spot was the Dream Mile Club in the Poconos, where he served on the board until his death.

Ken enjoyed creating beauty. The gemstones he faceted won prizes in the Tuscarora Lapidary Club exhibits. Woodturning came later. He attended shows around the US to exhibit and enhance his skills. Finally, he decided to build small engines from scratch. Tools and machinery poured into his basement workshop with each new hobby and he spent countless happy hours there with friends who shared his interests.

His first wife Margaret died in 1984, after a long, happy marriage. He is survived by his devoted wife of 27 years, Katherine Anne Daley Wattman and by his children George Wattman and his wife Linda of Malvern, PA; Mary Lou Wattman of Chicago, IL; Bradford Trudeau and his wife Cynthia of Carrollton, TX; Katherine Trudeau of Scottsdale, AZ; and David Cramer and his wife Connie of Versailles, KY.

He is also survived by his dearly loved grandchildren Stephen and Hailey Wattman, Laura Grutsch and Celeste Ruth, sister Shirley George and her family of Burr Ridge, IL, brother-in-law John Michael Daley of Carlisle, PA and a host of wonderful nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 am Saturday, February 22, at the Chandler Funeral Home 2506 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE, followed by a reception at the Wilmington Club. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Salvation Army or the .

For online condolences,

please visit


Published in The News Journal from Feb. 11 to Feb. 16, 2014
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