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VP dies at 86 after 51-year career at Landis Tool Co.

November 23, 1998|By DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - William G. Kissinger, who started as a 14-year-old apprentice at Landis Tool Co. and ended his career as its vice president for manufacturing, died Saturday at the age of 86.

Kissinger's son William said his father began working for the tool company when he was still in high school about 1926. He worked there for more than 51 years until his retirement in 1977.

"He did not retire completely at that point. He became a consultant with the company," the son said.

The company made grinding machines for automobile crankshafts and camshafts and Kissinger learned the business from the manufacturing floor to the boardroom, according to his son. That included everything from lathing, milling and assembly to labor relations in this country and abroad.

In addition to the plant in Waynesboro, he oversaw operations at plants in Wisconsin, Great Britain and France, Kissinger said of his father. "He just traveled amongst these four plants year-round," he said.

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"I saw how he could speak their language, both literally and figuratively," Kissinger said. He said a street, Kissinger Way, was named after his father near the plant in Skipton, England.

"He made himself not only prominent in his business, but in his community," Kissinger said. He said his father had once served as a justice of the peace in Rouzerville.

Kissinger had also been active in the United Way of Waynesboro, a member of the Waynesboro Church of the Brethren, treasurer of the Harbaugh Church Cemetery and a director of the First National Bank of Waynesboro.

Kissinger also helped found the Waynesboro Municipal Golf Course, according to his son.

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