FLOSSMOOR, Ill. — John F. Dobrez Jr., 81, founder and former president of Illinois-based Dober Chemical Corp., died Tuesday at his home.
Dobrez, a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War, founded Dober in 1957. The company initially manufactured cleaning compounds and paint strippers, but under his guidance evolved its product lines into polymers for the treatment of industrial wastewater; an extensive line of cleaning agents for the commercial and rental textile industries; corrosion-inhibition products for engines; scale inhibitors and biocides for cooling water; plus chemistries for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic marketplace.
Dober entered the commercial laundry marketplace in 1988, and purchased Total Textile Technologies from U.S. Chemical in 1993.
With that purchase and Dober’s innovations, fueled by Dobrez’s reinvestment in research and development, the company became a leading supplier of commercial laundry chemistries, equipment and service, as well as chemical-management, productivity and utility-management software.
Today, his company consists of five distinct divisions providing products, technology and service worldwide.
Dobrez and his wife of 59 years, Joan, raised seven children, five of whom followed in his footsteps and joined the company’s leadership.
Surviving Dobrez is his wife; his children, Kathleen Blakemore, Richard, John G., Thomas, Daniel, David “Scott” and Christopher; and 18 grandchildren.
Funeral services were Friday in Flossmoor. Graveside services with military honors will be today in Elwood, Ill.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to:
• Wishing Well nfp, 9610 W. Manhattan-Monee Rd., Frankfort, IL, 60423.
• J.S.F. Cancer Support Center, 2028 Elm St., Homewood, IL 60430.