Herbert G. Futter, 91, passed away on May 20, 2014.
He was born in Berlin, Germany. During the war, he lived,
worked and went to school in England
He pursued his University of London degree at Cardiff University.
There he met the love of his life and future wife, Connie, over a shared book
in Math class. In the spring of 1947, Herbert came to the United States to begin working with his father
at Kellogg Brush Manufacturing Company in Westfield,
MA. Later that year, Connie
arrived from Cardiff to marry Herbert in New York City. They moved
to Westfield and began their new life together
in the United States.
In the mid-1950s, Herbert was joined by his brother,
Marc, at Kellogg Brush. When their father died in the late 1950s, the two
ultimately became co-owners and directors of Kellogg Brush with Herbert
handling the manufacturing and financial sides of the business and Marc
handling sales and marketing.
When Herbert joined Kellogg Brush in 1947, there was
no mechanization; household brushes were made by hand. Herbert brought his
ingenuity and engineering abilities to the company. He was responsible for the
creation of the semi-automatic twister, the automatic twister, the automatic
weld and trim wire machines. He applied the induction heater to brushmaking and
introduced the injection molding machines. He was active in business
organizations and was known as the
“Dean of the Brushmaking business” in the industry. His foresight brought the
modern age to brushmaking.
With his usual eye to the future, Herbert
spearheaded the company’s expansion in the mid-1960s by moving Kellogg Brush to
Easthampton, MA. Meanwhile, Herbert and Connie, with
their two children, John and Ann, moved to Whately in 1964. Always on the
forefront of innovation, Herbert brought computer technology - the NCR 500 - to
Kellogg Brush in the “magnetic stripe ledger card” era of the late 1960s with
the expertise of Connie and later, son John, who ran the computer operations.
In addition to his many brushmaking industry activities, for many years Herbert
was on the Board of Directors of First National Bank of Easthampton, and later its successor
organization. Herbert was active in business life for over forty years until
his retirement in 1990.
Herbert was always a dedicated family man and
enjoyed a full and happy life with Connie and their children, and later with
their grandchildren, extended family and friends. Though they enjoyed
traveling, they loved staying home. Herbert babied his lawn as Connie gardened
and they both drove tractors, baled hay, and kept farm animals and dogs for
many years. Herbert continued his inventive nature at home by continuously
creating new and improved ways of doing things. For forty years he swam at the
Northampton YMCA, typically arriving before the 5:30 opening time. He swam five
days a week until his late 80s, then four days a week.
He was predeceased by his wife, Connie, his brother,
Marc, and his parents. He will be greatly missed by his son and daughter, John
and Ann, his daughter-in-law Shelley, his grandchildren Andrew and Catherine,
as well as his three nieces, Andrea, Claudia and Melissa and his nephew,
Herbert was a wonderful father, husband, uncle and
grandfather. He was a true gentleman and will be missed by all who knew him.
Many thanks to his doctors, especially Dr. Peter Weitzman and Dr. Norman Perr,
for their kindnesses to Herbert over the years and their successful efforts in
helping him live an active and vital life until the day he passed away.
A Celebration of Herbert Futter’s life will be
held at a later date, at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, a
donation may be made in Herbert’s memory to your favorite charity