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"Vieve" Gore Dies at 91

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Vieve Gore

Genevieve Walton “Vieve” Gore, who with her husband founded W. L. Gore & Associates, died January 20 in Newark, Delaware, after a brief illness. She was 91.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1913, she married Wilbert L. “Bill” Gore in 1935. During World War II, they moved to Delaware where he began a career with the DuPont Co. On their 23rd wedding anniversary – January 1, 1958, with five children to support, two of them in college – Bill, Vieve, and their eldest son, Bob, set up shop in the basement of the family’s Newark home to make PTFE-insulated ribbon cable. Bill’s research at DuPont had convinced him that there was a market in the growing computer industry for wire insulated with the polymer called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), known at DuPont by the trade name TEFLON®.

A full and equal partner with her husband, Mrs. Gore at first made sure all the bills were paid, then helped W. L. Gore & Associates grow into a billion-dollar corp- oration, along the way developing thousands of innovative products, such as separators, membranes and shielding for the battery, fuel cell, and electromagnetic compatibility industries, and successful consumer brands such as GORE-TEX® waterproof clothing fabric.

Active in the company until her death, Vieve continued to be a presence at the company’s offices, serving on the board of directors and, as its most tenured associate, delighting Gore associates by officiating at events honoring the accomplishments of those who followed her inspiration.

She received numerous awards, including honorary doctoral degrees from Utah’s Westminster College in 1982 and Goldey-Beacom College in 1991, a medal of distinction from the University of Delaware in 1983, and induction to the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame in 1989.

Although Bill died in 1986 while they were on a hiking trip in the Rocky Mountains, both he and she were elected to the Delaware Business Leaders Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Junior Achievement National Business Hall of Fame in 2003.

Her survivors include two sons, three daughters, 21 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren.

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