Albert DiGregorio, 88, died at his home in Southbridge, Mass., on 13 August, following an illness. DiGregorio was President of United Lens Co. in Southbridge for many years and served as Chairman of the Board until the time of his death. As Chairman and CEO following World War II, he led the company's rapid growth and expansion into instrument design.
Founded in 1916 as a producer of molded spectacle lens blanks, United Lens had been called upon by the U.S. government during the war to produce molded lens blanks for numerous instrument applications.
Under DiGregorio in the 1970s, United Lens expanded further, into close tolerance surfacing and shaping of flat precision optical elements, production of thin-film vacuum coatings, and precision machining of optical glass and other materials.
"United Lens has been and continues to be a key element in the optics industry, having done business with most companies active in this industry at one time or another," said Jan Melles of Photonics Investments. "It was Al's vision and good stewardship that made the company what it is today: a legacy to be proud of."
A U.S. Army Air Corps veteran and recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross Air Medal, DiGregorio attended Cole Trade School and Staunton Military Academy. He was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree in business administration from Nichols College.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Doris; two daughters; four brothers; three grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.
Among his many affiliations were the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission, National Safety Council, and Massachusetts Civil Defense Agency and Office of Emergency of Preparedness.
Read the full obituary in the Worcester Telegram.