John F. Torley – Commander, United States Navy

From a contemporary press report:

John F. Torley, the retired industrialist who headed Dayton Malleable Inc., which later became Amcast Industrial Corp., died Thursday morning after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 86.

The Kettering resident had been a prominent leader in the greater Dayton business and civic communities from the 1960s through the 1980s, serving as chairman on more than a dozen boards, including the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, the University of Dayton, Wright State University, the Dayton Racquet Club and the Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum Foundation.

“He was a tough guy and we'll miss him,” said Dotti Salmon, his longtime secretary.

“He had a sharp mind and excellent business sense,” added Frederick Smith, the former chief executive of Huffy Corp. who shared offices in Kettering Tower with Mr. Torley.

“John could be difficult and he didn't suffer fools gladly, but he became a real contributor, a real community leader,” Smith added.

A Pittsburgh native, Mr. Torley served as president and chief executive of Dayton Malleable from 1961 to 1979 and oversaw great expansion at the foundry. The company, which had 10 divisions in seven cities upon his retirement, was the largest supplier of air and refrigeration castings to such major firms as Frigidaire, Delco, Copeland and Chrysler.

Mr. Torley received an honorary degree from UD and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in mechanical engineering.

He also was a World War II veteran who retired as a commander in the United States Navy, which will earn him burial in Arlington National Cemetery, his family said. In 1984, he received the U.S. Air Force Exceptional Award, the highest honor given by the Air Force to a civilian.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Leona; two daughters, Jane Torley Gang of Bethesda, Md., and Lois Leistiko of Edina, Minn.; and four grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.

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