Robert H. Silver, 72, of Meadowbrook, former owner of Penn Ventilator Co., died of chronic lymphocytic leukemia Saturday at Hospice by the Sea in Boca Raton, Fla., where he had a winter home.

Mr. Silver grew up in West Oak Lane and helped out at Penn Ventilator, the company his father and two uncles started in a North Philadelphia garage in 1928.

After graduating from Central High School, he earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Drexel University and joined the firm, which manufactured ventilators and fans. He became president and expanded the business to nine factories and more than 600 employees. He was chairman when it was sold in 1999.

Mr. Silver was past president of the board of Northeastern Hospital. He was former chairman of the Philadelphia Geriatric Center, now the Abramson Center for Jewish Life in Horsham, and continued to serve on its board.

He enjoyed tennis and golf. He was very family-focused, his son, Don, said, and compiled a two-volume memoir for his grandchildren.

Since 1954, Mr. Silver had been married to his childhood sweetheart, Janet Friedman Silver.

In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by a daughter, Deb Abrahamson; a sister; and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. today at Goldsteins' Rosenberg's Raphael-Sacks Memorial Chapel, 6410 N. Broad St.