CLARENCE, N.Y. -- Walter N. Welsch, founder of power tool manufacturer, Dynabrade, Inc., died May 16, 2020. He was 96. 

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, he graduated from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. In 1951, he joined the Minnesota abrasive manufacturer 3M where he was a sales representative based in Tonawanda, New York. While calling on jukebox manufacturer Wurlitzer, he developed an idea for replacing tedious hand filing with a power-actuated abrasive belt filing machine, the now well-known Dynafile, an industry leading material removal tool.

He founded Dynabrade in 1969, and led the company from its North Tonawanda on Payne Avenue to its current 150,000 square-foot global headquarters in Clarence, New York. Dynabrade employs nearly 300 people worldwide and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019.

“Wally leaves behind a great company, but even more so, a legacy of optimism, ethical behavior and true American entrepreneurial spirit that will serve as his greatest accomplishments,” company president and CEO Hardy Hamann said in a statement. “For all his achievements, as an inventor, entrepreneur and business leader, we will remember Wally most for his strong and caring personality, his great sense of humor and his passionate support for his family and all of our employees.  He will be missed and warmly remembered by his family and Dynabrade employees all around the world.”

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.