Friday, September 10, 2004

Charles McCarty, P&G researcher

He created Biz enzyme bleach

By Rebecca Goodman
Enquirer staff writer

WESTWOOD - Charles Bruce McCarty Sr., creator of color-safe Biz bleach, died Sunday at the Cleveland Clinic after battling cancer for a year. The Westwood resident was 70.

A chemical engineer for Procter & Gamble for 30 years, Mr. McCarty's name was on 80 of the company's patents. "He worked in research and development, so he touched a lot of things," said his daughter, Lee McCarty Fruhling of Columbus. "He was in soaps. He was in foods. He was in health and beauty care."

His was the sole name on the Biz patent. When he was researching the product in the early 1960s, he and his wife, Claudette, had five children at home. Those were the days before disposable diapers and Mr. McCarty tested his enzyme detergent booster on cloth diapers.

"My mom told the story," Fruhling said. "She'd be asleep and he'd wake her up (with freshly laundered diapers in hand) and say 'Which one looks whiter to you?' She said, 'I don't care.' It would be one o'clock in the morning. That's the essence of that kind of career.

"He was obviously at the forefront - as Procter & Gamble was - in enzyme technology."

Born in Lawrenceburg in 1933, Mr. McCarty was descended from one of the town's earliest families, the McLeasters. His grandfather, Bruce McLeaster, was a co-founder of the Dearborn County Register.

The only child of Chuck and Margaret McCarty, Mr. McCarty was valedictorian of the Lawrenceburg Consolidated High School class of 1951 and received nine awards at commencement. He played trombone with the school band and broke his nose playing on the football team.

He was at the top of his class at Purdue University. An ROTC graduate, he received a degree in chemical engineering in 1955 and served two years as a Navy lieutenant. He was a ship's navigator stationed in Cuba and Japan.

Mr. McCarty married Claudette Nebelsick of Aurora in 1956 and returned to Purdue in 1957 to begin four years of doctoral study in chemical engineering. When he received his degree, he was recognized by the university as one of the top five doctoral graduates in chemical engineering in the country.

He went straight to work for P&G. He was director of research and development for Procter & Gamble Far East from 1980 to 1985

Mr. McCarty retired in 1991.

He served on the boards of Bayley Place, Gamble-Nippert YMCA and Hillforest Historical Foundation in Aurora. He was a supporter of Cincinnati's Summer Opera Association and coached baseball and soccer when his sons were boys.

"He was an eternal optimist," his daughter said. "Going through this whole year's battle with cancer he never complained and that's so indicative of his personality. He never, ever thought that he wouldn't beat it."

Other survivors include his wife; another daughter, Margaret McCarty Shelly of Elkhart, Ind.; three sons, Bruce McCarty Jr. of Westwood, Michael McCarty of Mason and Christopher McCarty of the West End; and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service is 10 a.m. Sept. 18 at St. Catharine Church, 2848 Fischer Place in Westwood.

Memorials: Hillforest Historical Foundation, P.O. Box 127, Aurora, IN 47001-0127.

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