Clyde A. Sluhan’s death on November 6 deprived The Rockford Institute of one of its most devoted and effective patrons. One of the original directors of the Institute, Clyde had served a term as Board Chairman, and at the age of 85 was still an active member of the Institute’s Executive Committee.

Born in Cleveland, Clyde grew up in the Lutheran Orphans’ Home of Toledo where, as reported by his son Elliott, a profound belief in God and a dedication to service became central features of his life. The Campus Crusade for Christ, Jews for Jesus, and the Gideons were some of the organizations that benefited from his involvement and gifts.

After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University with a major in chemistry, Clyde Sluhan worked in several manufacturing firms. His chief concern was how to create a better water-solvent lubricating/ cooling fluid for high-speed metal-working machines. In an interview several years ago, he told how he labored “night after night, three and a half years, three and a half thousand tries,” until he hit on the right formula for just such a fluid.

Once satisfied with the product, he founded Master Chemical Corporation in 1951. It eventually became a primary national supplier for automotive, aeronautic, and other industries involved in cutting and grinding metals. The success of the company in a competitive field was due to the high quality not only of the product but of the training programs in the sale and uses of the product that the company conducted across the country. Clyde himself attended these seminars, and his engaging personality and wealth of knowledge proved invaluable to his company.

His family was the centerpiece of Clyde’s life. His wife Marian worked with him in the business from the very beginning, and she eventually served as Vice President for Administration and as Corporate Secretary. Bill Sluhan succeeded his father as President and Chief Executive Officer of Master Chemical. His two sons and a daughter, Sally Wright, and six grandchildren were a constant source of pride and delight to him. Clyde was so grateful for the blessings he had received that he wanted to do all he could to make sure that America would remain the land of opportunity for coming generations. Hillsdale College, the Heritage Foundation, and the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University were some of the institutions that benefited from his patronage.

On November 2, Clyde and Marian Sluhan flew to Chicago for the Institute’s annual board meeting and the awarding of the Ingersoll Prizes. He had had serious heart problems for the past six months and was not feeling well. As it turned out, he was not well enough to attend either event, but returned home and entered the hospital. At the funeral service, Marian said, “He really wasn’t well enough to make the Chicago trip, but he was so committed to The Rockford Institute that nobody and nothing could persuade him not to go. So he did.”