Ronald W. Doran, a retired FMC Corp. mechanical engineer who co-invented a method for slurrying soda ash more than 40 years ago, died Monday in his Town of Tonawanda home. He was 79.
Mr. Doran was born in Jersey City, N.J., where he was a graduate of Jersey City Junior College. Afterward, he served in the Army from 1954 to 1956. Upon his discharge, Mr. Doran attended Newark College of Engineering, graduating in 1960 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He began working for FMC, a large chemical products company, in Carteret, N.J., and was transferred to the company's Town of Tonawanda location in 1966. He co-invented a method for slurrying soda ash in 1971 and was granted a patent for the process in 1974.
Mr. Doran retired from FMC as a senior technologist in 1998, after 38 years of employment with the company. Three years later, he helped found the FMC Tonawanda Retiree Club.
Mr. Doran was a member of St. Martin Lutheran Church in North Tonawanda, where he sang with the choir and served as both the church gardener and handyman. He also volunteered at the Niagara Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, the former Florence A. Finkenberg; three daughters, Suzanne Snitzer, Carol Mahon and Amy Crawford; a son, Mark; and a sister, Ginger Grover.
His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday in St. Martin Lutheran Church, 322 Old Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda.