Lester J. Fox, an automotive worker and union official whohelped the community recover after Studebaker Corp. closed its doors in 1963,died early Tuesday at age 92.
Although Studebaker's decision to cease automotiveproduction in South Bend in 1963 stunned the city, it didn't come as asurprise, Fox said in a 2002 Tribune interview. In 1963, he was vice presidentof Local 5 of the United Auto Workers, the union that represented Studebakerhourly workers.
"Anybody who was surprised by it would be surprisedthat the sun came up in the morning," he said.
The blow was followed by the news that manylongtime workers wouldn't receive pensions because the pension fund wasn'tadequately funded.
Only workers 60 and older with at least 10years of service received pensions. What little remained was divided amongremaining employees. Fox, who had worked at the company for 20 years, received$377.