Charles Koblentz, executive, dies

He had been executive vice president of the industrial group of the American Trading and Production Co.

May 07, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Charles Koblentz, a retired American Trading and Production Co. executive, died April 30 of heart failure at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, N.Y.

The former Guilford resident was 93.

The son of immigrant parents from Lithuania and Russia, Mr. Koblentz, whose father was a grocer and cigar maker and whose mother was a homemaker, was born and raised in Chicago.

He was a 1935 graduate of Tuley High School and earned a bachelor's degree four years later from Chicago's Roosevelt University.

After marrying his college sweetheart, Evelyn Dunn, in 1939, the couple moved to Washington, where he worked conducting personnel management studies for various federal agencies.

During World War II, he served as an Army Air Forces chief warrant officer assigned to the Office of Statistical Control at the Pentagon.

After the war ended, he planned and conducted a reorganization of the Federal Communications Commission, family members said.

"His challenging and fulfilling government career was cut short, however, when he was investigated in the late 1940s by the House Un-American Activities Committee on grounds of 'guilt by association,'" said a son, Gerald Koblentz of Seattle.

Even though he was exonerated of all charges, family members said, Mr. Koblentz had trouble holding a job once employers learned that he had been the target of a HUAC investigation.

"Throughout much of the 1950s and 1960s, he was determined to provide for his family, which by then included four children, [and] worked at jobs dictated not by choice but by the constraints imposed by blacklisting," his son said.

From 1966 until retiring in 1993, Mr. Koblentz was executive vice president of the industrial group of the American Trading and Production Co., which had been controlled by Crown Central Petroleum Corp., and had served on its board.

After retiring, Mr. Koblentz moved to a second home in Longboat Key, Fla. He was an avid reader and traveler, continuing to do so into his 90s.

The former Guilford resident, who had moved to White Plains in 2006, had been a member of the Hopkins Club.

Services were held May 3 in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Koblentz is survived by another son, Joel Koblentz of Sag Harbor, N.Y.; a daughter, Suzanne Goodman of Scarsdale, N.Y.; two grandsons; and two great-grandsons. Another son, Paul Koblentz, died in 1982.

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