CLEVELAND, Ohio — William L. Kirchner, co-founder of Southern Mill Creek Products of Ohio, and the third-generation owner of Cleveland Chemical Pest Control, passed away Saturday at 83, at his home in Key Largo, Fla.
The Kirchner family took ownership of Cleveland Chemical Pest Control in 1929. The company was originally formed in 1903 as a service branch of the Chamberlain-Haber Chemical Company, which specialized in installing ant and roach insecticides.
In the early 1960s, Kirchner, along with his brother-in-law, Dick Schroeder, launched Southern Mill Creek Products of Ohio as a Northeast Ohio distributor. The business grew to include 10 distribution centers throughout major metropolitan markets in the Northeast/North Central region prior to being sold to Univar in 2010. (The Kirchners sold their majority interest in Southern Mill Creek Products of Ohio to Austin Capital Partners in the mid-2000s).
In 2004, the Greater Cleveland Pest Control Association recognized Kirchner, Bob Caldwell and George Ross for their efforts in shaping Ohio's pesticide law, which includes a pre-emption clause. Pre-emption essentially ensures that local municipalities must abide by standards set by state law, and thus local municipalities cannot enact overreaching regulations.
Kirchner was named a honorary/lifetime member of the Ohio Pest Management Association (OPMA).
Cleveland Chemical Pest Control is now led by William P. Kirchner, son of William L. Kirchner. In addition to William P. Kirchner, he is survived by son Timothy Kirchner and daughters Barbara Nye and Katie Grgetic. His wife, Eleanor, passed away in 2014.
Visitation for William L. Kirchner will be held Thursday at Chapel of the Divine Word, in Kirtland, Ohio, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Services will be held at the same location on Friday at 10 a.m.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Friends of the Islamorada State Parks, PO Box 236, Islamorada, FL 33036
(Pictured: Eleanor and William L. Kirchner)