Jackson, N.H. — Dick Devellian, who co-founded hot runner supplier Kona Corp. in 1978, died May 27 when he was struck from behind by a motor vehicle as he was riding a bicycle. He was 83.
Devellian retired in 1991 and moved to Jackson after selling Kona to Berwind Group. The Kona nozzle that he helped develop is still sold today by Synventive Molding Solutions.
"My dad is an example of the American dream," his son, Leo Develllian, said. "Son of Armenian emigrates. … My dad's secondary education was the GE apprentice program in Lynn, Mass. He built a successful business and was able to semiretire in his mid-50s to pursue the activities he loved."
Devellian was born in 1936. He started Kona in Gloucester, Mass., with three partners: Campbell Steward, Robert Eldridge and Paul Swenson. All four had worked at static mixer maker Kenics Corp.
When they started Kona, the company's first products were nozzles with integrated heat pipes, a NASA spinoff technology used in injection molding.
At first, they machined and assembled the first heat-pipe machine nozzles in Devellian's and Steward's garages. After a few years, the company expanded its product range into hot runner systems.
Greg Hannoosh, who was Kona's director of marketing communications, said the company quickly became a leading supplier of hot runners to the automotive industry.
"Dick was my boss and a mentor to me in many ways. I joined Kona in 1986 when it was a small company of just 19 people. He was tough but fair, and I learned so much from him," Hannoosh said. "He gave me advice then that I still carry with me today."
Leo Devellian, who is strategic account manager for packaging, medical and coinjection at Mold-Masters, said his father assisted multiple charitable organizations, and he enjoyed skiing, cycling, sailing, ice sculpting and piloting glider planes — he earned a glider pilot's license at 80.
"He was extremely active and fit to the day he passed," Leo Devellian said.
Devellian is survived by Claire, his wife of 56 years, son Leo and daughter Karen Muniz and their families.
No memorial services are planned, but the family will hold a celebration of life event in the future. Donations can be made in his memory to the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, P.O. Box 216, Jackson, NH.