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Son of Fenton's founder, longtime president dies

 

Wednesday August 10, 2005

 

By The Associated Press

Charleston Daily Mail, Charleston, WV

 

WILLIAMSTOWN -- Frank M. Fenton, the longtime president of Fenton Art Glass and son of its founder, has died. He was 89.

Fenton died Tuesday afternoon.

Fenton, the fifth child and first son of Frank L. Fenton, was born Dec. 1 1915. He attended grade school in Williamstown, but crossed over the Ohio River to Marietta, Ohio, to attend high school. He entered Marietta College in September 1932 and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1936.

He began working for the family company while in college.

He tried several times to get a summer job at the factory, but his father turned him down, saying others needed the work more than he did.

Finally, he was given a position by his uncle.

For nearly four decades, Frank headed Fenton Art Glass along with his brother Bill.

Fenton Art Glass is continuing a 100th anniversary celebration throughout 2005 with special glass productions. The celebration kicked off in Williamstown July 29, but Fenton was too ill to attend. His most recent public appearance at the factory was when Gov. Joe Manchin visited in May to help commemorate the company's 100th year.

"He was a great leader and certainly provided a lot of support and advice,'' said his son George Fenton, chief executive officer and current president of Fenton Art Glass. "He was personally very caring and, in business, very wise and very astute.''

A visitation is planned from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the First United Methodist Church in Williamstown.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday at the church.

 

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Visitors to Fenton Art Glass will find a spacious Gift Shop and a pleasant museum. Free factory tours (M-F 8:15am to 4:00pm) take small groups of guests right out to the factory floor to see glassmaking "up close and personal." Friendly, knowledgeable tour guides explain all aspects of the operation. The Fenton tour has been ranked among the "top 10" factory tours nationwide by USA Today. In addition we have been named Rand McNally Best of the Road for 2006. For a factory tour schedule, click here. For a map, click here.

 

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