LAPORTE – Industrialist James W. Fleming, 75, died Friday, July 2, at LaPorte Hospital .
Born Aug. 14, 1934, in Lorraine , N.Y., he moved to LaPorte in 1953 after stops at Syracuse University in New York state and Indiana University in Bloomington . He founded Aero Metals Inc. in 1961 when he was 27 years old.
The cast metal production company grew from a basement operation in his home to a multimillion dollar business that employed more than 300 people. His background in cast metal product began at Austenal Microcast, which later became Howmet Corp. He also helped design equipment that produced Jiffy Pop Popcorn at Mennen Food Products in LaPorte.
In the community, Fleming was a member of the LaPorte Hospital Boardr, the 1st National Bank Board, LaPorte Chamber of Commerce, the LaPorte Manufacturers Association and Leadership LaPorte County .
He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Indiana and the Sagamore of the Wabash from Indiana .
Visitation is 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 7, at Haverstock Funeral Home, 602 Maple Ave. , LaPorte, and 10 a.m. Thursday until the funeral service at 11 a.m. at First Methodist Church , 1225 Michigan Ave.
Memorial contribution may be made to the LaPorte Hospital Fundation, P.O. Box 250, LaPorte, IN 46350; First United Methodist Church, 1225 Michigan Ave., LaPorte, IN 46350; or to a charity of the donor’s choice.