Udderly Smooth Creator Dies at 82

POLAND, Ohio – William C. Kennedy Sr., the creator of Udderly Smooth Udder Cream and co-founder of Redex Industries Inc., died Dec. 10 at the Inn at Poland Way.

Kennedy was 82, according to the obituary posted online on the Lane Family Funeral Home website.

He was born in Youngstown to H. Dale and Iola Kennedy on May 30, 1937. A 1961 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, he worked in retail and pharmacy positions until he and his wife, Margaret, purchased the Animal Health manufacturing division of Universal Coop and founded Redex Industries Inc.

“Most people have workshops. Dad was always mixing and making things downstairs,” Bill Kennedy Jr., Redex Industries’ president, recalled in an interview with The Business Journal in 2015.

He formulated Udderly Smooth Udder Cream, a water-based skin moisturizer, at the request of farmers, who used the cream on their cows udders and whose wives used it on their hands.

Production of Udderly Smooth creams started in Alliance and, in 1989, Redex constructed a plant at the Salem Industrial Park. The creams are used to treat dry skin and feet, and as a facial moisturizer or part of diabetes or oncology skin care.

The product became known for its distinctive packaging, black-and-white spotted labels that resemble the hide of a cow, and the product’s popularity soared.  

“It reached a point during the mid-1980s that we were featured on Oprah,” Bill Kennedy Jr. said.

In 2015, Redex was honored by the Small Business Administration. Gil Goldberg, district director SBA’s district office in Cleveland, presented Redex with the SBA’s Butland Family-Owned Business Award at the company’s headquarters in Salem.

Kennedy is survived by his wife, Margaret; four children and their spouses: Lorraine Winterink (Tom), Bill Kennedy Jr. (Diana), Linda Kuzior (Ken), Col. Brian Kennedy USMC (Retired) (Heather); 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. 

A funeral mass will take place 11 a.m. Monday at St. Michael Catholic Church in Canfield. Visitation will take plane an hour prior to the service.

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