Issue Date: June 18, 2012
Herbert Aschkenasy, 80, chairman and chief executive officer of Oregon Freeze Dry, died of cancer at his home in Salem, Ore., on Jan. 12.
Born in Vienna, the young Aschkenasy and his family traveled around the world to escape the Holocaust, finally settling in the Bronx, N.Y., in 1941. He earned a B.S. in chemistry from City University of New York (now City College of New York) in 1953 before being drafted into the Army at the end of the Korean War. He later received a Ph.D. in polymer chemistry from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now the Polytechnic Institute of New York University) in 1959. He conducted postdoctoral research at Cambridge University.
Early in his career, Aschkenasy held technical, management, and sales positions with Rohm and Haas in Philadelphia and Celanese in Louisville, Ky. He then served as president of the chemical group of Philip Morris in Milwaukee before transferring to its Oregon Freeze Dry unit in Albany, Ore., in 1981. Five years later, Aschkenasy led a group that purchased the unit from Philip Morris. As its president, he helped Oregon Freeze Dry expand into Europe and Japan. He was named chairman in 2011.
Aschkenasy joined ACS in 1957. Active in his community, he served on the Oregon State Board of Education and was involved in Temple Beth Sholom. He was inducted into City College of New York’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000 for his soccer accomplishments and received the college’s Townsend Harris Medal in 2011.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth, whom he married in 1954; son, David; and daughters Leah Reid and Miriam.
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