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Founder of lead-acid firm East Penn dies

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 09:33 -- Paul Crompton
Founder of lead-acid firm East Penn dies

The founder and chairman emeritus of lead-acid battery company East Penn Manufacturing, DeLight Breidegam Jr., has died.

The 88-year-old founded the company, alongside his father, in 1946 before building it into one of the world’s leading lead-acid battery manufacturers.

The business began after Breidegam left the US Air Force following World War II and began rebuilding old batteries in a one-room creamery in Bowers, Berks County.

An East Penn statement read: “He laid the foundational groundwork that has made East Penn the company that it is today.

"There's no doubt that he will be deeply missed, but his legacy continues to live on. In the areas we work, in the products we make, and the customers we serve, East Penn will continue to honor DeLight by being committed to his dream and inspired by his vision."

The death was announced in a statement released on September 9 by East Penn CEO Daniel R. Langdon. Details of his death have not been released.

Mark Thorsby, executive vice president of Battery Council International, said: “He was tough minded, warm hearted, and unknowingly self-effacing— a unique trifecta of character traits. There are literally tens of thousands of people who are better today because they knew DeLight.

“No one in the world had a greater impact on energy storage in the last half of the twentieth century than DeLight Breidegam."

He added: “On behalf of the worldwide energy storage and lead battery industry, I extend our deepest sympathy to his family.”

Services for Breidegam Jr will be held on September 20 in O'Pake Field House at Kutztown University.

Breidegam Jr’s death comes just 15 months after his daughter Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz, East Penn’s CEO, died after being hit by a truck on June 20.

Earlier this year Battery Council International announced the launch of the inaugural Sally Miksiewicz innovation award, which will be presented at the next BCI annual meeting in 2016.