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Published: Tuesday, 8/3/2004

Metallurgical engineer held 27 patents, started own firm

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Joseph Lincoln, a metallurgical engineer with 27 patents who established his own engineering consulting business and worked for 15 years in Toledo, died in an East Grand Rapids hospital Saturday of complications from lung cancer. He was 66.

Born in Lyons, Mich., Mr. Lincoln graduated from Ionia, Mich., schools. He attended Aquinas College before studying for three years at the University of Detroit, which since has merged to form the University of Detroit Mercy.

He graduated in 1960 with a degree in chemical engineering.

Mr. Lincoln married the former Wilma Jean De Bois in 1960. His son, Tom Lincoln, said that from 1960 to 1975 he worked for what was first called Surface Combustion Corp. and in later years the Surface Combustion division of Midland-Ross Corp. in Toledo as chief metallurgist and director of heat treatment research and design.

He later served as vice president of technology at a furnace company in Wixom, Mich., before starting up his own company, his son said.

A lifetime member of the American Society for Metals and the Society of Automotive Engineers, Mr. Lincoln served as the CEO of Lincoln Associates in Grand Rapids, said his son Tom.

When Mr. Lincoln went to school, the automotive industry was a large part of his life, his son said, and engineers were testing metals for ease of use and longevity.

"I think he found that interesting and a challenge," Tom Lincoln said.

But above all, his son said, his father was a family man.

"He loved to have his nieces and nephews around him," Tom Lincoln said.

He added that his father had told him, "Business is how you make your living, but family is the most important thing. Family is what you come home to."

Tom Lincoln said his father enjoyed traveling, boating, fishing for walleye, motorcycling, and automobiles.

Surviving are his wife, Wilma Jean; sons, Tom and Peter; daughter, Deborah Lincoln; sister, Anne Marie Lincoln, and a grandson.

Visitation will be after 7 p.m. today in the Lake Funeral Home, Ionia, Mich.

Services will be at noon tomorrow in SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ionia.

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