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John Dexter III '40 July 20, 2022 10:18 AM updated: July 20, 2022 10:26 AM

John Forsythe Dexter, III

April 2, 1919 - September 21, 2021

John Forsythe Dexter III, a longtime resident of Midland, Michigan, who worked as an electrical engineer for Dow Chemical and for Dow Corning for more than 42 years, died on Tuesday, Sept 21 at the age of 102. At the time of his death, he was a resident of the Jacaranda Trace retirement community in Venice, Florida.

After growing up in Dallas and graduating from Texas A&M University, Mr. Dexter moved to Midland to work for Dow on the eve of World War II. He met and married Midland resident Katherine Nehil, whose father owned the Nehil Lumberyard in Midland. When war broke out Mr. Dexter enlisted in the Navy and became an operations officer in mine warfare, working to counteract German mines at British ports. After the end of the war, he was dispatched to East Asia on a secret mission to study how effective the mine warfare had been.

Mr. Dexter then returned to Midland and worked for Dow Corning from 1946 until his retirement in 1982. He was involved in the development of silicones and their applications. During the early 1970s, Mr. Dexter was assigned to Tokyo where he headed a Dow Corning joint venture with Toray Silicone. Off work, his passion was sailing and boating. He was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, in Charlevoix, Michigan, and in Venice, Florida.

He and Kate were married for more than seven decades, until her death in 2017. They raised five children, all of whom grew up in Midland: John F. Dexter IV, Robert N. Dexter, Caroline E. Dexter, Stephen R. Dexter and Neil G. Dexter, all of whom survive him. In addition, he is survived by seven grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren.

Farley Funeral Home in Venice, Florida is handling the arrangements. A message of condolence may be sent by visiting


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