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Delmont Daniel Brown, 94, Findlay

Delmont Daniel Brown died in Blanchard Valley Hospital on Monday November 27, 2017.

He is survived by his wife Millie (Etter), and sons Delmont, Jeffrey and Warren and seven grandchildren.

Delmont (aka D. D.) was born in Toledo, Ohio on January 17, 1923 to Maurice and Mildred (Clevenger) Brown. He was raised in North Baltimore, Ohio where his grandfather founded The D. S. Brown Company. After retirement he moved to Findlay and subsequently to Sarasota, Florida for the last 30 years of his life. He spent most of year in Sarasota and summered in Findlay.

He attended North Baltimore (Ohio) High School and graduated in the Class of 1941. He attended and graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in Philadelphia. His college years were interrupted by the outbreak of World War Two and the induction of all male classmates into the army/navy. He graduated college at Penn in 1946 as part of the Class of 1945. While at Penn he met his future bride Millie Etter of Bala-Cynwyd, PA. Due to the lack of available men in late 1942, he briefly played basketball for the Penn Varsity Basketball team.

He elected to enter Reserve Officers Training Corp in December 1941 while at Penn and this proved beneficial to delaying his entry into combat. As young officers were killed in action at D-Day, his officer’s class were transferred from Armory School back to Infantry School and this delayed his deployment until late Summer 1944. He entered the European theater through southern France in early autumn 1944 and was positioned between the Ardennes Forest and the Colmar Pocket along the Rhine River and German frontier.

He served as a liaison officer running between headquarters battalion and the different companies of the 42nd “Rainbow” Infantry Division. In this role it was his job to inform headquarters where the frontline was and the regiment positions were, usually accomplished through riding in a Jeep. A funny story he enjoyed telling was when he stopped and slept in the loft of a barn to avoid capture by Germans who had over-run the regiments’ position along the Rhine River. When he awoke, the Germans were gone and had retreated back to their positions on the German side of the river.

During postwar occupation he managed a US controlled prisoner of war camp for German SS troops outside Salzburg Austria. Later in life he enjoyed watching a 1960s TV series “Hogan’s Heroes” for the antics depicted in Prisoner of War camps. He was discharged from the army in 1946 at the rank of Captain.

In the late 1940s he was a member of the All-American Band organized through the VFW in Fostoria Ohio. This band won the National Championship of marching bands at the annual VFW convention and toured nationally in parades and festivals. He played the piccolo in the marching band.

He married Millie Etter on June 17, 1950 in Bala-Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. He returned to North Baltimore to develop synthetic rubber manufacturing for The D. S. Brown Company (DSB). Up until this time, DSB had been a leather product manufacturer and produced harness products and universal joint leather boot covers for automotive applications. Synthetic rubber advances from the oil shortages in WWII created business opportunities for fledgling manufacturers.

Working with Dupont Labs in Wilmington, DE he developed DSB into the first synthetic rubber injection molder and later rubber extruder in the USA. This created new product applications and further material advances that he championed through his professional career. He led the promotion of using synthetic rubber in expansion joints in highway concrete roadways and bridges for the interstate highway system. He always believed in running manufacturing production equipment at full capacity as much as possible and loved to get deeply involved in any production issue. Many of his ideas are still produced there today.

Upon his retirement in the late 1980s he partnered with two of his sons to found TechStar Inc, in Findlay, which also followed the bridge construction supply field. He remained active in TechStar until his death.

Delmont had many hobbies and interests including playing golf, fishing, attending family activities, and playing bridge. His greatest interest was perhaps in his membership to Rotary International Club. He is recognized as having perfect attendance of meetings for 65 consecutive years. While he remained a life-long member of the North Baltimore Ohio Club he regularly attended meetings in Florida, McComb, and Findlay to maintain his attendance record. As he traveled internationally, he would always attend Rotary International meetings whenever possible. When traveling he would nearly always take his wife Millie who enjoyed seeing the world with him. They had several trips on the Concord together and Delmont was one of the first visiting business men after the opening of China by President Nixon.

He enjoyed his family and company of his friends. He was a member of the Findlay Country Club for over sixty years. He was also a member of Sara Bay Golf Club of Sarasota, Florida. While he never became a good golfer he is recognized as one of the best ever with a 40-foot noodle ball retriever. He was a member of the Cosmos Club of Washington DC. He was a two-term trustee at Bowling Green State University serving 13 years. He was a longtime chairman of the Wood County Republican Party and was inducted by Governor James Rhodes into of the Order of Ohio Commodores. One of his activities was as an official delegate to the launching of the USS Ohio submarine in Groton, CT in the early 1980s. He was a member of the St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church of Findlay. He was a member of the University of Pennsylvania Board of 500 and attended Penn Club luncheons with his wife in Sarasota.

Visitation will be held at KIRKPATRICK-BEHNKE FUNERAL HOME, 500 Lima Avenue, Findlay, Ohio 45840 from 5-8 pm on Friday December 1, 2017.

The Funeral Service will begin at 2:00 pm Saturday December 2, 2017 at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Knollcrest Cemetery.

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