Joseph A. Dillon Sr., 74, of New Hope, who founded two Bucks County firms, died of lung cancer Sunday, May 15, at home.
Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Dillon dropped out of Roman Catholic High School to support his mother, served in the Army, and graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in 1960.
After several years of night classes, and while working as a laboratory technician at Rohm & Haas and Pennwalt Chemical Corp., he earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering at Drexel University in 1967.
Even before he graduated, his son Mark said, Mr. Dillon founded in 1966 what is now the Plastomer Products Division of Garlock Inc. in Newtown, Bucks County.
"He invented a process of recycling Teflon" and made that the focus of the firm, his son said, noting that Mr. Dillon held several U.S. and foreign patents.
He sold Plastomer in 1971 but continued as chief executive officer until he founded what is now Tetratec Corp. in Warminster in 1981, which, his son said, "produced Teflon membranes for filtration."
Mr. Dillon sold Tetratec in 1994 and retired a year later.
In addition to his son, Mr. Dillon is survived by his wife, Marie; another son, Joseph Jr.; daughters Sharon Dillon-Levinson and Sandra; and two grandchildren.