It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Bob Umhoefer on this past Sunday in Chatsworth, California. Bob was born in Montana on March 9, 1913 and died on September 22, 2013, achieving the century mark of celebrating a remarkable 100 birthdays.
Bob was a learned man, with a love of chemistry and science. He attended Montana State University where he graduated with a B.S in Chemical Engineering and earned his PhD at Northwestern in Organic Chemistry. While employed at Buffalo Electro- Chemical Company in NY, he achieved the first of 8 patents related to hydrocarbons and hydrogen peroxide.
After working for several years in the electro-chemical field, Bob decided that he would like to own his own company- something that would allow him to work in his beloved chemistry field. He learned of a small ceramic company for sale in California- that company was Mayco Colors which was owned by Erwin and Dolly Mayen. In 1954, Bob purchased Mayco and he and his wife, Lucille, moved to California.
For the next 35 years, Bob expanded the Mayco glaze assortment to include a wide variety of glazes, grew the Mayco distribution network to a worldwide presence and built a second plant in Hilliard, Ohio, which is now the main facility. Throughout the years, while he attended tradeshows, managed distribution and other business tasks, his passion was the development of ceramic glazes, with his happiest times spent in his lab.
Bob is survived by his son, John Robert of Chatsworth, California; daughter, Barbara Umhoefer Giroux of Athens, New York; two grandsons Julian and Tristin Giroux and great-granddaughter, Lola L. Giroux. He was predeceased by his wife, Lucille, in August 2000.
Interment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery in Lockport, NY under the direction of Gaul Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to your favorite charity.
While not of blood relation, we here at Mayco feel like we have lost our father. We will honor Bob and his legacy here at Mayco by continuing his passion for ceramics and commitment to manufacturing the highest quality of products known as "America's Finest Colors".