Frank DeBease, 93, Longtime Rye Resident

RYE, N.Y. - Frank DeBease of Rye died Feb. 11. He was 93.

DeBease was a Rye resident for nearly 70 years, he attended Port Chester schools and Pace College in New York City. During World War II, he served as a staff sergeant in the Army Air Force in England, specializing in intelligence and aerial photography interpretation.

He joined Empire Brushes Inc., formerly the world's largest brush manufacturing firm in Port Chester in 1946. He became vice president of manufacturing in 1964, with responsibility for operations at headquarters, the main plant facility, the warehouse and distribution center, and two subsidiary plants in North Carolina and Mississippi. His final assignment prior to retiring was the consolidation of all operations at the North Carolina site. Empire Brushes was eventually sold to Rubbermaid, Inc.

He was active in the National and International Brush Manufacturers Association, serving for a time as its vice president, and of the National Association of Brush Manufacturers, for which he served as chairman of several divisions over the years.

DeBease is survived by his children, Ellen Carr of Henderson, Nev., Roberta Bennett of Black Forest, Colo., Celeste DeBease, Ph.D. of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., Catherine DeBease of Everett, Mass., Michael DeBease of Ridgefield, Conn., Peter DeBease of Scotch Plains, N.J., and Mark DeBease of Rye; three grandchildren; step-grandchildren, Robert and Catherine Westerman; brothers, Arnold DeBease of Tucson, Ariz., and John DeBease of Mamaroneck; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Lucy (LaRusso).

As per his wishes, the family will hold a private service.

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