ELMHURST, Ill.-A leader of the dairy industry, Bernard S. "Bernie" Horton, died last month at the age of 68.

A longtime member of the American Dairy Products Institute and the recipient of the 2004 Award of Merit, Horton was a true champion of dairy proteins, and is credited with being responsible for much of the success the industry enjoys today.

A resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Horton died May 8, 2006, surrounded by family and friends.

Born in New York City, Horton graduated from Cornell University's chemical engineering program. His entire career was devoted to leading-edge technologies and products, starting in the aerospace industry, where he was in part responsible for the development of the first composite wing structure for commercial jet airliners, and the Apollo vehicle, among other things. At the start-up company Abcor Inc., he was a member of the team that developed and built the world's first WPC plant (in New Zealand), first tandem whey UF and RO plant (Crowley Foods), first continuous WPC plant (in France) and several of the earliest milk UF plants, including the first commercial UF yogurt plant.

He was V.P. and gen. mgr. of Abcor's Membrane Equipment Group.

Horton was the founder and president of Horton International, which focused on advanced separation and conversion processes for whey and milk, markets for new dairy products, and dairy products price forecasting. Horton was active on the U.S. national committee of IDF for 18 years. He was also a member of the ADPI technical committee for more than 10 years. He was on the organizing committee for the 1997 and 2001 International Whey Conferences and was the co-chair of the 2005 conference. He had more than 50 publications on membrane processes, the utilization of whey and whey processing.

Horton also was a collegiate rower as well as a bronze medalist in the 1963 Pan Am Games. A celebration of Horton's life is planned for late June, to be held at his rowing club in Cambridge. Memorial gifts may be made to Cornell University Rowing or to the Pocock Foundation in Seattle. Levine Chapels, Brookline, Mass. 617/277-8300 is in charge of arrangements.