Youngstown Son John Guffey Jr. Dead at 82

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — John W. Guffey Jr., whose 65-year career in manufacturing and executive management began here, has died.

Guffey died Dec. 25 at his home in Sunset, S.C., his family announced Wednesday. He was 82.

A native of Petersburg, Ohio, Guffey received a Bachelor of Engineering with majors in metallurgy, industrial engineering and mathematics from Youngstown State University in 1962. He graduated top engineer in his class and went on to serve in executive leadership roles at numerous global companies, including Garlock Inc., General Tire & Rubber, Aeroquip and Carlisle Corp.

In the 1990s, he served as chairman and CEO of Coltec Industries, a fluid sealing and aerospace manufacturing company in Charlotte, N.C. He guided the company’s $2.2 billion merger with BF Goodrich Co., resulting in the formation of one of the largest U.S. aerospace companies.

In 2005, he served as interim CEO of Gleason Corp. in Rochester, N.Y., where he was also a longtime member of its board of directors.

His son, Mark Guffey, said the elder Guffey was well-known for his approachable style of management.

“Throughout his career, my father admired and sought out criticism from his peers as well as the opinions from the men and women working in his manufacturing facilities,” said Mark Guffey, president of in Warren. “He would often walk the plant floors to talk with employees, to listen to what they had to say and to ask questions.”

John Guffey’s desire to share his fascination with developing and manufacturing solutions to improve quality of life led him to establish scholarships for aspiring engineers at YSU and a professorship in engineering at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.

Even after his official retirement in 2005, Guffey continued to contribute to his field. In 2008, he purchased Energy One America and increased sales threefold in just three years during a difficult economic environment, expanding Energy One the largest company of its kind in the U.S.

Guffey is survived by his son, Mark, his wife Monique Yellin Guffey, daughter Terri Potter Guffey, his children’s mother Carol Griffiths and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

An online memorial in Guffey’s honor will be held Feb. 7. For more information about the memorial, contact

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.