Former PPG chairman Williams was leader in truest sense of word PITTSBURGH, Nov. 28, 2005
– L. Stanton Williams, former PPG Industries chairman and chief executive officer, died Sunday from complications following a heart attack. He was 86.
Williams retired from PPG in 1984 after six years as chairman and chief executive officer, and from PPG’s board in 1990, capping a 44-year career with the company.
“Stan was a leader in the truest sense of the word,” said Charles E. Bunch, PPG’s chairman and chief executive officer. “He led our company through an impressive era of growth. In addition, Stan was a leader in the community, tirelessly working to improve the quality of life for everyone. On a personal level, Stan’s spirit and warm personality will be sorely missed. He represented the best in all of us at PPG.”
During Williams’ tenure as chairman, the company’s annual sales increased 50 percent and its earnings more than doubled. Also during that period, PPG Place, the distinctive six-building office complex in Pittsburgh, was conceived and constructed. PPG continues to maintain its world headquarters at PPG Place, selling the complex in 1999 to Market Associates, an affiliate of the Hillman Co.
After three years as a Navy officer during World War II, Williams joined PPG in 1946 as an accountant and progressed to controller in 1956. Elected vice president of finance in 1963, he was executive vice president and then vice chairman prior to becoming chairman and chief executive officer on Jan. 1, 1979.
Williams was a director of Texaco Inc., Prudential Insurance Co. of America, Mellon Bank Corp., Rubbermaid Inc., and Dravo Corp., and former chairman and director of Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.
Active in community and charitable affairs, Williams was chairman of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, United Way of Allegheny County and campaign chairman of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
He was an emeritus member of the boards of Carnegie Mellon University and The Carnegie, and formerly served on the boards of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony, Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania and St. Margaret Memorial Hospital.
Long involvement in the Young Men’s Christian Association culminated in his being chairman of the organization’s national board. He was also chairman of the Pittsburgh YMCA and a trustee of the national YMCA Retirement Fund.
In 1981 Williams was named Vectors/Pittsburgh’s Man of the Year. In 1983 he received the Community Service Human Rights Award of the Institute of Human Relations of the American Jewish Committee. In 1991 he endowed the L. Stanton Williams ’41 Professorship Chair for social responsibility at Amherst College.
Born in Honolulu in 1919, Williams graduated from Phillips Andover Academy and Amherst College, and received a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business. He also received honorary degrees from Amherst and Thiel colleges.
Williams was a member of Shadyside Presbyterian Church, where he had been an elder, trustee and deacon. He was a former president of Fox Chapel Golf Club, former director of The Duquesne Club, former governor of Rolling Rock Club, and member of Laurel Valley Golf Club. Outside of Pittsburgh, he was a member of the John’s Island Club and a founding member of Bent Pine Club in Florida, and a member and former president of Iron City Fishing Club in Canada.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Dorothy Reed Williams. In addition, he is survived by four children: Eric R. of Seattle; Timothy H. and wife, Susie, of Pittsburgh; Steven N. of Pittsburgh; and Deborah W. and husband, Robert Sawin, of Seattle; five grandchildren: Kira Bingemann, Darcy Turner, Lindsay Williams, Tucker Sawin, Devon Sawin; one great grandchild, Henrick Bingemann; and a brother, J. Vernon Williams of Seattle.
Friends will be received from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Freyvogel Funeral Home in Oakland. Funeral service will be conducted Saturday at 2 p.m. at Shadyside Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Pittsburgh Foundation, One PPG Place, 30th floor, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15222 or the ICFC Endowment Fund, c/o Brian Huber, 4060 E. Brookhaven Drive, Atlanta, Ga., 30319.