Lawrence R. Finn [1925-2014]; Engineer won patents for Owens Corning


Lawrence R. Finn, 88, a retired engineer who obtained U.S. government patents for inventions and processes in the glass manufacturing industry, died Saturday at his home in West Toledo.

He apparently died while sleeping in a chair in his home, said his daughter, Laura Crumley, who didn’t know the cause of death.

“He was very independent, very active, and relatively healthy,” she said.

Mr. Finn worked for nearly 40 years for Toledo-based companies involved in the manufacturing of glass and related products.

He joined Owens Corning in 1958 after working about eight years for Owens-Illinois.

As a process engineer for Owens Corning, he worked with two employees in the company’s technical center in Granville, Ohio, to develop a better conveyor system for insulation roll packaging. He received a patent for that process, as well as for four other processes while employed for Owens Corning. He retired in 1989.

He received an award in 1976 for his accomplishments from the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Born April 18, 1925, in Toledo to Stanislawa and Edward Finn, he attended Whitmer High School and enrolled at the University of Toledo during the second half of his senior year. His college studies were interrupted in 1943 when he joined the Navy. His daughter said he was on the USS Columbus and spent time in the Pacific Ocean in 1946.

After the military, he studied at Ohio State University and transferred to UT, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1950.

That same year, he was hired by O-I, where he was a specifications engineer in the Kaylo division.

He married the former Agnes Wight on Dec. 28, 1946. She died Sept. 24, 1994.

In July, 2009, Mr. Finn went with the Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio to Washington and visited the World War II Memorial.

Surviving are daughters, Cheryl Failor and Laura Crumley; son, Richard; brother, Thomas; seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Thursday in the Ansberg-West Funeral Home, 3000 W. Sylvania Ave., where a Rosary will be recited at 4 p.m. The funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Friday in St. Catherine of Siena Church.

The family suggest tributes to the church or Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio.

— Mark Reiter