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Published: Thursday, 12/11/2008

L-O-F VP achieved dream of becoming a cowboy

George Pope MacNichol III, 85, who was a Libbey-Owens-Ford Co. vice president and, in retirement, bought - and worked on - a Wyoming cattle ranch, died Sunday in his Perrysburg Township home.

He had prostate cancer and only had been ailing the past year, but he was able to visit his ranch about two months ago, said his son, George P. "Jeep" MacNichol IV.

Mr. MacNichol was the fifth generation of his family in the glass industry.

He was a descendant of Capt. John Ford, regarded as the father of the plate-glass industry in the United States, and Edward Ford, whose plate-glass company was an L-O-F forebear.

He retired March 1, 1979, as vice president of corporate development, a post he held for nearly 12 years.

Mr. MacNichol was hired in 1948 as a production supervisory trainee at the L-O-F Rossford plant. He was a supervisor in the Thermopane plant from 1949 to 1954, when he became the facility's production manager.

He was promoted to assistant plant manager and, by 1956, was assigned to the production policy committee at company headquarters in downtown Toledo. He was put in charge of purchasing and traffic in 1961 and was named a vice president in 1963. He became a company director in 1971.

"It was kind of a family business for him," his son said. "He made a lot of friends. My dad was outgoing. He appreciated the relationships, abroad as well, in Europe and Brazil.

"He was extremely intelligent and was an amazing listener. He was very peaceful," his son said. "Even if he got angry, he didn't seem angry."

Heartfelt friendships resulted from his years on the board of Columbia Gas of Ohio, his son said.

"He cherished and valued the position more than anything he did in the corporate world," his son said. "It was the relationships he made."

Mr. MacNichol also had been an officer of Rossford Savings Bank and a director of First National Bank of Toledo.

Free of his corporate duties, Mr. MacNichol in the early 1980s bought a ranch an hour north of Cheyenne.

"That's why he retired early," his son said. "In the back of his mind, he always wanted to be a cowboy."

He'd been on horseback from childhood. In his teens, he played polo for the Carranor Hunt and Polo Club, competing against Ohio and southeast Michigan teams. Later, he kept horses on his Perrysburg Township property.

On his Wyoming ranch, he had about 500 cattle. He hired two hands to work the ranch full-time. But he went there when it was time to brand and to ship out cattle, visiting two weeks at a time at least four times a year.

"He loved the West. It was a lifestyle," his son said. "He loved the mountains. He loved being around working cowboys, and he loved the essence of the wide-open spaces. He used to wear his cowboy hat to the post office in Perrysburg. That embodied his spirit through and through."

Mr. MacNichol grew up in Perrysburg and attended Maumee Valley Country Day School. He was a graduate of Brooks Schools, North Andover, Mass.

He was a Navy pilot during World War II and was a 1948 graduate of Yale University.

Mr. MacNichol married Tracy Taylor in 1965. She died in 1996.

Surviving are his son, George P. Pope IV; brother, Roland MacNichol; sister, Caroline Orser, and two grandchildren.

There will be no visitation or services. A celebration of life will be scheduled early next year, his son said. Arrangements are by the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg.

The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio or a charity of the donor's choice.



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