Hytrol Founder Dies Monday

NOVEMBER 8, 2004 - Posted at 2:11 p.m. CST, updated at 2:45 p.m. CST, updated at 5:00 p.m.

JONESBORO, AR - Jonesboro businessman and Hytrol Conveyor Company founder Tom Loberg died this morning.  .

Few details are available at this time concerning Loberg's death, but he reportedly died around 10:30 a.m. in a local hospital following complications from heart-related surgery.  Loberg was 87.

Loberg founded Hytrol, a Jonesboro-based conveyor belt company which now does business around the world, in 1947.  He served as the company's owner and CEO.   Loberg moved the company from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Jonesboro in 1962.

Those who knew the man remembered him this afternoon.  "His fierce dedication to the distributor network is one of the legacies he leaves," said Hytrol president Gregg Goodner.  "We are the only conveyor company that goes to market through independent distributors."  Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce president Henry Jones said, "He had loyalty to Jonesboro, and I think that was based on the family atmosphere that he had at the plant."

"I know he was generous to churches, and a lot of other organizations," added Jones.

Today, Hytrol employs more than 700 people.  "He had a tremendous loyalty and love for his employees.  Everything that Tom did for the company, he was doing for his employees," added Goodner.

Funeral arrangements are not yet complete at this time.  According to a spokesman with Emerson Funeral Home of Jonesboro, visitation is set for Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Emerson Chapel.  Funeral services are tentatively set for Friday, but a time and place has not yet been confirmed.

(K8 News Assignment Manager Randy Myers contributed to this report.)