MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — William L. (Bill) North, 90, Forenta president and general manager, died Sept. 19, 2018.
Forenta says: “As plant manager, president and partner, Bill was instrumental in the company’s success from its inception until he officially retired.
“He was a leader who always had his finger on the pulse of the business. He led Forenta through some rocky times in the early 1970s and helped the company emerge stronger than before.”
North served on the Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA) Board from 1985-1990 when he retired from Forenta, it notes. In 1987, he became Chair of the TCATA Scholarship Fund Committee.
Forenta further writes, “From humble beginnings in Pueblo, Colo., Bill received an academic scholarship to Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. He graduated with honors and a BS in Civil Engineering in 1948.
“He began his textile career as chief engineer with Forse Corporation in Anderson, Ind. He was hired,” the firm notes, “to reform the engineering department and get quality to a reputable position.”
It explains that, “With labor problems arising, the company was forced to shut down its manufacturing operation in Anderson. In June 1961, Forse resumed manufacturing in Morristown, Tenn., under the name Forco, with Bill North as general manager.
In Morristown, new products continued to be developed and machines were then labeled Cleanamation or Forse/Cleanamation. In the early 1970s, a group of German-based investors took over and changed the company name to Forenta.”
The company adds: “In his self-penned obituary, Bill says he enjoyed life, the world around him, his wife and family, and felt he had a good life.”
Mr. North is survived by Marilee, his wife of 68 years, daughter Susan and her husband David, and two grandchildren.
A memorial service was held on Sept. 22. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to: Hamblen County United Way, P.O. Box 1794, Morristown, Tenn., 37816.