Madison Allen “Al” Self

Funeral services for Madison Allen “Al” Self, 91, Hinsdale, Ill., will be 10:00 am. Saturday, January 26, 2013, at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. A brunch in Al’s memory will follow the graveside service at Spooner Hall, 1340 Jayhawk Blvd. on the University of Kansas Campus.

A Memorial service will be held Saturday, February 2, 2013, at 11:00 am. at Christ Church of Oak Brook, 501 Oak Brook Road, Oak Brook, Ill. 60523, (630) 654-1882.

Al died Sunday, January 13, 2013, at King Bruwaert House, Burr Ridge, Ill.

Mr. Self was commonly known as “Al” by his friends and business associates, except for his Self family relatives who have remained loyal to his boyhood nickname, Matt.

Al was born June 30, 1921 in Ozawkie, Kansas, the son of Benjamin B. and Margaret Allen Self. He spent his boyhood years on the family farm and attended a one-room grade school nearby. He attended high school in Meriden, Kansas and on graduation in 1939 served as class valedictorian. He graduated from The University of Kansas in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. Al met his wife, Lila (nee Reetz), in college. They were married soon after his graduation and celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary last September, She survives of the home.

In 1947, Al co-founded Bee Chemical Company in Chicago and served as the company’s CEO over a 37 year period (prior to its sale to Morton Thiokol in 1985). Bee Chemical Company grew from a staff of 3 people to a sizable company with several manufacturing locations in the US and international operations in Japan, Canada and England. Bee Chemical became a leader in developing and supplying polymer coatings and transfer finishes designed for application on plastics for automotive and numerous other industrial uses.

After the sale of Bee, Al founded Allen Financial, Inc. and served as President until his death. In 1989, he joined with three associates and founded and served as Chairman and CEO of Tioga International, Inc., a diversified research and development company that supplied industrial sealants, plastic extrusions and related products for numerous industrial uses. Tioga International was sold in 1999.

Al is a past International President of the Young Presidents’ Organization, has served as Chairman of the Chief Executives Organization and was a founding member of the World Presidents Organization – professional associations that provide their members with opportunities for education and idea exchange.

He is a past Director of the Illinois Manufacturers Association. He is a past President of the National hearing Association. He is a Life Trustee and Regent of the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Al has maintained a lifelong interest in education and leadership development. Al and Lila created and provided endowed funding to support two leadership fellowship programs at their Alma Mater, the University of Kansas; the Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship Program for doctoral students, and The SELF Engineering Leadership Fellows Program at the School of Engineering for undergraduate students. They also initiated and provided endowed funding to establish the Leadership Academy at the Illinois Institute of Technology for undergraduate students.

Al was awarded a Distinguished Service Citation by the University of Kansas and the KU Alumni Association, the university’s highest honor. He also received the Distinguished Engineering Service Award from the School of Engineering at KU. In 2010, Al was recognized as a Life Trustee of the KU Endowment Association.

Al received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters and Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He served as a trustee or a life trustee for many years and has served as a Regent of the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 2007, Al was presented the first annual “Al Self Award” by the Chicago Chapter of World Presidents’ Organization for lifetime contributions and achievements.

Al spent most of his working years living in the Chicago area since 1947 and resided in Hinsdale since 1966.

Al is preceded in death by his son, Murray. Al is survived by his loving wife, Lila, his daughter-in-law, Anne (Mueller), two grandsons; Milo and Aran.

Messages & Condolences

From Deanna Marquette...

Lila, Lorene and the rest of the family – It is wonderful to read of Al’s many and varied accomplishments, yet to remember him as a quiet and unassuming man who was always attentive when someone spoke to him. I especially remember how kind he was to me the summer I spent with Lila and him.
My sympathy. May the Lord comfort you all.


From Brandy R...

To the family,
I am truly sorry for your loss. My prayers and condolences go out to all of you at this difficult time. May God be with you all. May you all take comfort in the words of Psalms 34:18-“Jehovah God is near those that are broken at heart and those crushed in spirit he saves”. Yes look to God for your strenghth and he will make the way for you.

From Kevin Fagan...

As a staff member of CEO, it was always a joy during my 10-year career to welcome Lila and Al, intrepid travelers, to programs in cities around the globe. Their arrival lent a special elegance and manner to events. Al’s smiling face and courteous demeanor will be missed by all who knew him. My condolences to Lila and to Al’s surviving family and friends.

From Scott Robinson...

As a fellow YPO/WPO member I thank Al for his service and appreciate his leadership.


Scott Robinson

From michael brown...

I did not know Al, but in reading his obituary, he had an amazing life and us YPO/WPOers owe him a debt of gratitude for his pioneering efforts on our behalf. May he rest in peace.

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