December 19/26, 2016: Volume 31, Number 14
Lillian Rosenstock Rothberg, co-founder of Laticrete, passed away Nov. 27. She was 91.
Those who knew Rothberg said she was the inspiration for the values instilled in the family-owned company. She co-founded Laticrete in 1956 with her late husband, Dr. Henry Rothberg, who died in 2014. While overseeing office and administrative functions in support of her husband’s efforts to raise the bar in tile and stone adhesives, she also maintained a home and raised seven children.
Lillian and Dr. Rothberg were married in 1946 and moved from Connecticut to South Carolina. Over the next decade, the couple—along with Dr. Rothberg’s two brothers—built a successful floor covering and furniture business. In 1956, he moved his family back to Connecticut to be near one of the leading firms in synthetic rubber manufacturing, the US Rubber Company (Uniroyal) of Naugatuck. Working closely with them, he developed the first commercially accepted, latex-modified adhesives for thin installations of ceramic tile and stone, which was branded Laticrete. With his wife as business partner, Product Development Company (later named Laticrete) was founded to turn the vision of a radical installation method into the reality of a global industry standard.
Outside of her professional life, she was known for her keen insights into human nature, passionate concern for sociopolitical justice and love of literature. She and her husband took pleasure in inspiring young members of their growing family to achieve great things. Their devotion to mentorship and education led them to contribute 20 scholarships to Dr. Henry Rothberg’s alma mater, the University of South Carolina’s School of Chemical Engineering.
Rothberg is survived by her seven children, Irene Rothberg, Henry B. Rothberg, David Rothberg, Deborah Rothberg, Celia Meadow, Dr. Jonathan Rothberg, Michael Rothberg, 19 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.