OBITUARY

Published: March 23, 2009 6:00 am ET

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Companies & Associations

Davidson, 86, owned Guardian, Pistons

DETROIT — Bill Davidson, who built up his family's glass business into a global player and added plastics to its portfolio, died March 13 of pneumonia. He was 86.

His Guardian Industries Corp. of Auburn Hills, Mich., recently spun off its plastics business into the wholly owned subsidiary SRG Global Inc., a Warren, Mich.-based plastics molder. The company employs 4,000 people globally, and makes exterior auto parts in the U.S., Europe and China.

Davidson also owned three professional sports teams: the Detroit Pistons of the NBA, the WNBA's Detroit Shock and hockey's Tampa Bay Lightning.

Guardian Industries opened in 1932 making flat glass panels for the auto and architecture industries. Davidson took over the business 52 years ago, adding plastics to encapsulate glass windows and eventually adding capacity to mold complete exterior panels.

Bechtold remembered for enthusiasm

TWINSBURG, OHIO — Michael Bechtold, an executive at Weatherchem Corp. in Twinsburg, died Feb. 26 of prostate cancer. He was 59.

Bechtold worked in the packaging sector for 25 years, including nine as vice president of sales at Weatherchem.

He graduated from Rutgers University in 1972 and received a master's in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh the following year. He started his career at Alcoa Inc. in 1973.

In a news release, Weatherchem said Bechtold's “enthusiasm for work and his family was a quality that many admired.”

“Mike's passion for life is a gracious example for all of us.”

He is survived by his wife, Kathy, and two daughters.


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OBITUARY

Published: March 23, 2009 6:00 am ET

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