GAWDA Mourns Loss of Three Industry Veterans

Tony Priest

Tony Priest, Inside Sales Representative at Sky Oxygen

Anthony ‘Tony’ Priest, 51, passed away unexpectedly on May 24 at his home. Mr. Priest worked as an inside sales representative at Sky Oxygen in Pittsburgh, PA. He began his 26-year career at Sky Oxygen as a driver. He also held positions in the plant and repair shop. A beloved coworker to all at Sky Oxygen, he loved the outdoors and was an avid fisherman, loved to golf and to share his amazing ability of cooking. Mr. Priest is survived by his wife Glenda, his father Lepper, other family members, and his best friend Pete Pavlininch, also employed at Sky Oxygen.

Andrew L. Ratermann, Former Linde Manager and Distributor

Andrew L. Ratermann

Andrew Longuemare Ratermann, 89, passed away on May 25. At the age of 16, he worked for the FBI as a desk clerk until he joined the U.S. Army Air Force, where he served as a flight engineer on B-14, B-17 and B-24 bombers during WWII. After earning a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Mr. Ratermann worked for Union Carbide Corporation, and then became product manager of the Linde Power Supply Division in South Carolina. He then took over Linde’s wholly owned distributorship, Bakers Welding Supply in Bakersfield and Fresno, CA, until he became the owner of Gerin Welding Sales in Santa Clara, CA, until his retirement in 1996. Over the course of 40 years in the gases and welding industry, Mr. Ratermann was revered for his charisma and leadership. He had a passion for dancing with his wife of 67 years, Lucille. Mr. Ratermann is survived by his sons Andrew and George, along with other family members.

Len York, Former President of Taylor-Wharton Cryogenics and COO of TWI

Len York

Len York, 65, passed away suddenly of a heart attack on May 16. The former president of Taylor-Wharton Cryogenics and COO of Taylor-Wharton International, Mr. York also held senior leadership positions with automotive, marine and steel manufacturing companies, including Cornerstone Propane, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and Prometheus Energy. In 1990, he founded York & Company, which focused on corporate restructuring, interim management, business process improvement and strategic planning. Foremost in Mr. York’s life was love of his family. He enjoyed his work, his friends, and relaxed with fishing, golfing and cooking. He touched, mentored and loved many people far and wide. Mr. York is survived by his wife of 25 years, Ginger, three children and one grandchild.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association