Obituary for Maurice 'Butch' Granville, Jr.
CAMDEN, MAINE - Maurice F. (Butch) Granville died peacefully at home, Monday, May 14, 2018.
Born in LaGrange, Texas, October 26, 1915, he was the son of Maurice Frederick Granville and Dorothea (Dora) Hulda von Rosenberg. He attended schools in LaGrange where he showed evidence of his future capabilities. During his high school years as a Boy Scout he earned the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 1931. He was also a member of Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society. After graduation he attended the University of Texas in Austin where he received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1937. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology two years later.
He began his 41 year career with Texaco as a student engineer at the Texas Corporation refinery in Sunburst. Montana in 1939. He later moved to New York City with the company. During the Second World War he was seconded to the government and travelled around the country working with numerous petroleum distillers to improve their production of aviation gasoline, his area of expertise. While in New York he met Janet Ruth Knotts and they were married in January 1945 in Falmouth, Maine. She had been born in Washburn Wisconsin.
For the next twenty years he held numerous engineering and executive positions in refining and petrochemicals with the company which became Texaco in 1959. During the Korean War he was again seconded to the government and worked at the Petroleum Administration for Defense where he directed their aviation fuels program. He was also chair of the Military Fuels Technical Advisory Committee. After his return to Texaco he was given a number of positions which involved moving the family including a stint in Port Arthur Texas and Camden New Jersey. His final move was back to New York where he was elected vice president of the Petrochemical Department in 1960. In 1967 he was named vice president in charge of strategic planning and assistant to the chairman of the board. In 1970 he was elected President and a director of the company. In April 1971 Butch was elected Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer effective in 1972. He held both of those positions until his retirement in 1980.
Aside from Texaco, Butch also devoted significant time and effort to strengthening his industry and American business. During the 1970’s he was heavily involved in providing leadership to the American Petroleum Institute, serving as Chairman from 1976-1977 and as a member of more than a dozen API committees, including ten years on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. His work was recognized by the Institute when they awarded him their Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement. Aside from the petroleum industry Butch compiled a sterling record of contributions to other segments of the business world. He served as a director of General Telephone and Electronics, Crown Zellerbach Corporation, NL Industries and First Florida Banks. He was a trustee of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York and served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 1972 to 1979.
He was also a significant force in supporting life in the communities where he lived and worked. He served on the governing board of the Corporation Development Committee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the advisory board to the Boys Scouts of America and the Advisory Board of the Metropolitan Opera Association. He also served on the Board of Trustees of New York’s Presbyterian Hospital. He was an active funds raiser and assisted organizations ranging from Borobudur Temple in Indonesia to Manhattan College in New York. For the latter efforts he was awarded the Manhattan College De La Salle Medal and the College named the Maurice F. Granville Residential Hall in his honor. He was an early supporter and helped with the organization of the Camden Conference, a foreign affairs program, which occurs every February in Camden, Maine.
For his work in so many varied areas he received numerous awards including two from his alma maters. In 1975 he was the recipient of the University of Texas Distinguished Alumni Award and MIT followed suit in 1976 giving him their award for corporate leadership. The Society for The Family of Man named him “businessman of the year in 1977 and he was named the “Man of the Year” by the National Energy Foundation in 1978.
Butch was an active sportsman as well as a business leader. He loved a good round of golf, was a proud member at Augusta National, Ocean Reef in Key Largo and Megunticook Golf Club in Rockport Maine, close to where he lived, and where he played into his nineties. He had a real affection for fly fishing and he and his wife Janet would travel annually to the Restigouche River in New Brunswick to fish for salmon. The two would also fish regularly in the Florida Keys, either boating into the Everglades or reef fishing offshore. He was a master story teller and a lover of outrageous puns.
Butch was predeceased by his wife of sixty nine years Janet Knotts Granville and his two brothers, Charles and Chester. He is survived by his sister Rosalind Lowry of Horseshoe Bay, Texas and his two children, Carol (Peter) Blyberg of Brunswick, Maine and Frederick (Sheryl) L. Granville of Shawnee, Kansas. He is also survived by two grandchildren, two adopted grandsons and six great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mr. Granville’s family has chosen to remember his life privately. Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.