Albert Thuro, Co-Founder and CEO of Thuro Metal Products Inc., passed away on April, 22nd 2020. Albert would have completed 86 years on September 10, 2020. In his 85th year he continued to visit the factories 6 day a week. He was admitted to the hospital on April 10, 2020 and confirmed to have COVID-19.
Albert was born in 1934, in a small German community in Yugoslavia. In the fall of 1944, because of the war, Albert and his family had to flee from their home. It would be 10 years until they would live in a home of their own again. 7 of those years were spent living in a displaced persons camp in a suburb of Munich, Germany. This part of his young life gave Albert a tremendous appreciation for the things we often take for granted. He began his apprenticeship at the age of 14 in Germany, first as an auto mechanic. Providence was again with Albert. His first boss was a hard-driving visionary who saw the opportunity, not in parts swapping, but in parts manufacturing. By the age of 22, Albert had attained the level of “Meister”or Master, at a progressive Precision Parts Manufacturing company in Munich.
Albert’s father applied for the family to emigrate to the United States at the end of WWII, but never had a response. In 1956, out of the blue, the U.S. Embassy called Albert for an interview. Within 3 months, at age 22, he arrived in New York harbor, alone, and knowing no one. He arrived on a Thursday and began working the next Monday. In 1959 he received his draft notice and served in the U.S. Military during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During his time in the Army he had a special assignment building exhibits for the U.S. Army in Alexandria, Virginia. In 1960 he and Carolyn were married. This March they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. It had always been Albert’s dream to go into business for himself. In 1962, upon honorable discharge from the army, he was recruited to work for Traub U.S.A. He spent the next 2½ years traveling all over the U.S., installing Traub Automatics. He was befriended by many business owners who saw his potential, and shared how they got started in business. In 1963, when he had saved up enough money to get started, he gave notice to Traub. They did not want to lose him, and promised that if he worked for them for another two years, they would help him start his business. They held true, and in 1965 gave him a great deal on two brand new Traub Automatics, equipped to his specifications. They also gave Thuro Machine Tool Works its first order.
Albert started several companies in the years which ensued. In the early 1980’s, with the advent of CNC machines, he realized the need for a Hydrostatic bar-feed to accommodate the high spindle RPM’s of a CNC Lathe. He started Metro-Tech Machine Tools to market and manufacture this equipment. A patent suit ensued coinciding with interest rates rising to 22 percent. Money was getting tight and Albert decided to stop building the bar-feeds to focus on Thuro Metal Products Inc.
In 1988, Albert founded Nytex Automatic Products in Fredricksberg, TX. He successfully ran this company from New York, giving direction and keeping in touch with the staff by phone and fax. Nytex was sold very profitably in 2005. Nytex also played an important role in helping The Thuro Companies diversify, transitioning away from a heavy concentration in the Defense market to also manufacturing parts for the Oil and gas industries.
Albert was an expert in Cutting tools and loved reading Cutting Tool Engineering. He loved to methodize “special jobs” that depended on the right tooling to work. He loved traveling throughout Germany, visiting tooling shops. He had a gift for recognizing nuances others would overlook.
At the invitation of past President Tad Korndoerfer, Albert joined the PMPA in 1980. In 1999, in Acapulco, Mexico, he was honored to receive the Golden Micrometer Award.
However, Albert’s proudest achievement was none of the above. It was the fact that 14 people who started out working at Thuro Metal Products, eventually went into business for themselves. Working in business with great people, alongside of family members, and manufacturing items that the world needed, gave Albert tremendous satisfaction and purpose. He started out every morning with a prayer for his staff and he was absolutely amazed at all he accomplished and the lives he was able to touch. He lived and died with no regrets. He gave it his all to the end and prepared those around him to carry on his legacy.