Louis F. Savelli, 85, died on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. 

 

He was born July 9, 1935, in Wilkes Barre, PA and was the only child of the late Frank and Mary (nee Giampietro) Savelli.

 

Lou graduated from GAR High School in 1952. 

 

During high school, he played trumpet professionally. 

 

He was one of the few students in the country to receive a full merit scholarship to attend Columbia University, graduating in Chemical Engineering and Liberal Arts in 1957. 

 

He married Carolyn (nee Stefanko) Savelli in 1958 and they had three children.

 

Lou joined the DuPont Company in 1959 as a chemical engineer in the R&D Division and over the years was promoted into a variety of sales, technical and management positions. 

 

In 1990, he became the president of DuPont Automotive and group vice president of DuPont Performance Coatings.

 

In 1992, he signed then-rookie, Jeff Gordon, 4-time NASCAR Cup Champion, to become the face of DuPont in one of DuPont’s most successful marketing campaigns. 

 

He was also responsible for turning DuPont into the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive paints with the blockbuster (at the time) $1.9 billion acquisition of Europe’s largest paint manufacturer, Herberts, in 1998. 

 

Lou served as chairman of the National Paint & Coatings Association (1997-98) and was the recipient of its highest award. He retired from DuPont in 2001.

 

Lou was an avid reader, traveler and golfer and was a member of the Wilmington Country Club. He loved vacations at the beach with his family and watching his grandchildren playing sports, performing in the arts and growing up.

 

Lou is survived by his first wife, Carolyn, daughters Denise Laganosky (Keith), Sharise Dautel (Scott) and Christine Kimmel, Esq. (James) and his six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is predeceased by his second wife, Gloria Sanford.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American Cancer Society, PO Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123 or Sunday Breakfast Mission, 110 N. Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE 19801.

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