CHICAGO — The laundry and dry cleaning industry lost two vendor leaders recently with the passings of Steven Katz, CEO of ThermoSteam Industries, and Gene Blumenthal, founder and president of Metro-Chem Inc.
Steven Mark Katz, 1948-2012
Katz, 63, South Bend, Ind., died Monday. He was born and raised in South Bend. He attended Indiana University, where he graduated with a history degree in 1970. He pursued a career in laundry and dry cleaning, and eventually became the CEO of two companies: ThermoSteam Systems, manufacturer of packaged steam boilers, and Kay Industries, producer of phase converters.
Katz was active in the Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA), having served on its board of directors for four years and as treasurer for two.
He was also active in his local community and his congregation, Sinai Synagogue. He was known as an extraordinary orator and was called upon to emcee various events in the South Bend area over the years.
Surviving him are his wife, Laurie Katz; three children, Hal, David and Jamie Katz; three brothers, Larry, Marty and Stuart Katz; a sister, Debbie Sandock; and four grandsons. Condolences may be sent to the family via McGann Hay Funerals.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Sinai Synagogue, 1102 E. LaSalle Ave., South Bend, IN 46617; or to the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley, 3202 Shalom Way, South Bend, IN 46615.
Eugene “Gene” G. Blumenthal, 1940-2012
Blumenthal, 71, of Marlboro, N.J., died July 30 at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, N.J.
He began his career in the late 1960s as a sales representative for Stauffer Chemical before moving on to become a regional sales manager for PQ Corp. in the 1970s.
Building on his personable style, technical knowledge and ability to formulate innovative laundry chemistry, Blumenthal became founder and president of Metro-Chem, a formulator of chemicals for the laundry industry, in 1980. He oversaw the company until his death. His partner of 32 years, Pete Potocki, has assumed the role of Metro-Chem’s president.
Surviving Blumenthal are his wife of 26 years, Elizabeth; his son, David; his daughter, Helaine; his mother, Beatrice; his brother, Allen; and four grandchildren. Condolences may be sent to the family via Freeman Funeral Homes.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that any donations be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.