Charles Kaman, founder of a multi-faceted manufacturing corporation that bears his name, died January 31. He was 91.
Kaman was known primarily for his innovations in the helicopter industry, having started Kaman Aircraft Company in 1945. He also played guitar, and applied unique manufacturing techniques to create the round-back Ovation acoustic guitars that debuted in the late ’60s. His son, Bill, ran the Kaman Music Company for years, and the firm acquired Hamer Guitars and other lines before being sold to the Fender Musical Instrument Corporation in late 2007.
Kaman was also a breeder of German Shepherds who in 1960 founded a non-profit organization that trained guide dogs. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Helen, and second wife, Roberta. Survivors include two sons, William and Steven, a daughter, Cathleen K. Wood, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.