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Published: Friday, 9/13/2013

Chester A. 'Art' Hall, Jr.; 1928-2013: Engineer traveled the world for OC

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Hall Hall
NOT BLADE PHOTO Enlarge

Chester A. “Art” Hall, Jr., a mechanical engineer who traveled the world in his 36-year career with Owens Corning and who was a former Sylvania councilman, died Wednesday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township. He was 84.

He learned July 2 that he had mucosal melanoma, his wife, Libby, said.

Mr. Hall, a 13-year Sylvania Township resident, retired in 1986 from OC, but remained as a globe-trotting consultant for four years. “They knew they could depend on him to go anywhere and fix that problem,” his wife said.

He worked in OC’s Toledo headquarters from the mid-1970s on, but worked on the design and construction of an insulation plant in Belgium, an assignment that meant living in Germany for six months. Other duties took him, sometimes for several weeks, to South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, and England.

“He was very professional, very qualified, just a real gentleman to work with,” said Alan Johnson, a retired OC mechanical engineer. “He had a lot of integrity.”

He was well-regarded for his engineering aptitude, but also for “just the kind of person he was,” said Pat Gross, who was an engineering administrative assistant. “He was caring and kind and soft spoken.”

Dick Yawberg, a retired engineer, added: “He was a great engineer. He wasn’t loud or a show-off. He was just a hard-working employee.”

He was a 1950 graduate of Virginia Tech, from which he received a bachelor’s of mechanical engineering degree. He was in the Corps of Cadets and played trombone in the Virginia Tech Regimental Band and, at graduation, received a commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve. During the Korean War, he oversaw jet bombers engineering at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

He was hired by OC in 1950 at its Newark, Ohio, plant. He later worked in Kansas City, where he helped build a type of insulation production machine, and in Toledo. After a stint in Newark, he returned to Toledo in 1967 to help set up an environmental control department. For several years in the early 1970s, he was plant engineer at the Barrington, N.J., facility.

He was elected to Sylvania council in 1969 and became council president in 1970. His message to voters, his wife said, was “You need an engineer on City Council.” He resigned from council when his job took him to New Jersey, but when he returned to town in the mid-1970s, council appointed him to the Sylvania civil service commission.

He was a member of First United Methodist Church and was a former chairman of the administrative council and treasurer of the endowment committee.

He sang lead with the Maumee Valley Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

After a career of world travel, in retirement he and his wife concentrated on North America. They went through three motor homes as they drove the continent, including three times to Alaska. His cat, Sean, was their companion.

“The cat loved to travel with us,” his wife said. “That cat was in 44 states, three provinces in Canada, and you can imagine the joy he got in traveling with Sean.”

He was born Nov. 1, 1928, in Huntingdon, Pa., to Violet and Chester A. Hall and was a graduate of Huntingdon Area Senior High School.

Surviving are his wife, Elizabeth “Libby” Hall, whom he married Sept. 15, 1951; daughter Susan Giovanatto; son Alan Hall, and four grandsons.

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. today in the Reeb Funeral Home, Toledo. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in First United Methodist Church, Sylvania, where visitation will begin at 10 a.m. The family suggests tributes to the church or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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