Millard Oldham, who, along with his wife Ada, co-founded Oldham Chemical Co. in 1966, died on September 26 at the age of 95. He and Ada are members of the Pest control professional Hall of Fame (Class of 2007). He is also survived by his daughter and son-in-law Marsha and Tommy Reeves, his granddaughter and grandson Stephanie and Blake O’Briant, as well as three great-grandchildren. By its obituary, memorial donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the Collierville First Baptist Church. As the Hall of Fame profile notes:
After [Millard and Ada] Graduating from college in 1951, Millard began his career as a formulation chemist for a chemical company in Memphis, where he first encountered PMPs. He admired their dedication and commitment to improving the lives of the general public. So when he and Ada decided to start their own business after moving twice with other chemical companies and not being able to get into sales the way they wanted, it was a natural choice for them to serve pest control industry.
Starting a business can be a scary proposition, however, so Millard and Ada Oldham wanted to know what they were getting themselves into before launching this bold venture. So Millard wrote to the pest control companies he had served with the other company and asked if they would support a new distribution company. The positive response surprised them both.
âWe got letters back, and 60% of them said they would support us,â says Millard Oldham. âSo we said: ‘. Let’s go home.'”
âI figured I could get most of them back – maybe 70% of them – as customers by the end of the year, so that’s when we came back to Memphisâ¦ â
Millard Oldham believes that staying focused on customers and their evolving needs will ensure Oldham Chemicals’ success in the future.
âI really believe it’s the best industry in the world, and it’s all because of the people,â says Millard Oldham. âCustomers were – and still are – the main thing,â says Millard. “Whatever they wanted they would get – and we still operate that way today.”
In addition, William “Butch” Cauthen Jr. passed away on September 21 at the age of 74. He was a 39-year-old employee of Oldham Chemical Co. By his obituary, Cauthen is survived by his wife of 39 years, Carol; three children and five grandchildren. Memorial donations can be made to Dawson Memorial Baptist Church Children’s Ministry.
Both men were members of Pi Chi Omega: Oldham joined the industry fraternity in 1983; Cauthen in 1977. Oldham and his wife also received an inherited membership in 2018 for their stewardship of the organization, particularly its scholarship program.
The Pest control professional The staff of the magazine extend their condolences to the Oldham and Cauthen families, their friends and colleagues.