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Ex-Kirkhill Rubber Official William J. Haney, 87, Dies

March 25, 1995|THAO HUA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

FULLERTON — William J. Haney, former board chairman of Kirkhill Rubber Co. in Brea, died Tuesday of cardiovascular disease at St. Jude Medical Center. He was 87.

Born in Pulaski, Iowa, Haney came to California in 1929 to visit a friend, T. Kirk Hill, who founded the rubber company, and stayed. Haney first worked as a shipping clerk for Kirkhill, and according to company officials, did "nearly every type of work in the company, including plant manager."

In 1953, Haney became president of the company, and in 1978 he was elected chairman of the board. After 61 years, he retired from the company with a reputation as a problem-solver and a developer of rubber materials and manufacturing methods that became breakthroughs in the aircraft and aerospace industry, according to Laurence Gadaire of Kirkhill.

Highlights of Haney's career include the 1967 Excellence in Communication Award of the Merchants and Manufacturers Assn. and presented by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, Gadaire said. He also received numerous awards from the Brea Chamber of Commerce and the Rubber Manufacturers Assn.

He is survived by his wife, Georgia of Fullerton; a daughter, Suzanne Foster of Rhode Island; a son, Stephen of Norco; a stepdaughter, Debra Willard of Placentia; a stepson, Michael Willard of Newport Beach; a sister, Jean Babbit of Rolling Hills; 12 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Memory Garden Memorial Park Mortuary in Brea. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Chapman University, William Haney Fund, 333 N. Glassell St., Orange, CA 92666.

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