Gordon Williams McBride, 93, a chemical engineer who served as executive director of Industrial Research Institute Inc., died of a stroke Oct. 8 at the Hillwood group residence in Bethesda.
Mr. McBride was born in Washington and graduated from Sidwell Friends School at age 16 in 1927. He attended George Washington University for two years and received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Yale University in 1931. He received a master's degree in chemical engineering from Yale in 1934.
He spent four years as a chemical engineer with Procter & Gamble Co. in Cincinnati, where he participated in the development of a revolutionary process that allowed soap to be manufactured continuously instead of in batches. He returned to Washington in 1939, where he worked with his father, Russell S. McBride, as a consulting chemical engineer from 1939 to 1942 and from 1945 to 1956. During World War II, he was a principal chemical engineer at the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
From 1957 to 1965, he was a technical coordinator in the Washington office of Union Carbide Corp. He served as executive director of Industrial Research Institute from 1965 until he retired 10 years later. During that time, IRI, a company-membership management association comprising more than 200 large industrial firms, was based in New York City. The association moved its offices to downtown Washington in 1990.
He was a registered professional engineer in the District of Columbia and a fellow in both the Washington Academy of Sciences and the American Institute of Chemists. He also served a term as president of the Yale Club of Washington and was a member of several clubs in the Washington area, including the Cosmos Club and Chevy Chase Club.
He joined Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church in 1922 and was a member until his death.
He was active with the Boy Scouts of America as well, and in 1965 received the Silver Beaver Award acknowledging his service as chairman of the James E. West District, at that time the western half of Washington.
Mr. McBride was also a singer. He was a member of a group called the Stone Age Quartet in New Haven, Conn., during his college years and acted as a "super" in various operas and ballets while living in Cincinnati. In Washington, he sang in church choirs and with the Cathedral Choral Society of the National Cathedral.
His wife of 63 years, Martha Evans McBride, died in 2001.
Survivors include two children, Bonnie McBride Hamlin of Oakland, Calif., and Jonathan E. McBride of Chevy Chase; and three grandchildren.