John M. Storm was born on June 26, 1954 to Concetta (Tina) Storm (nee Cormio) of Naples, Italy, and William B. Storm of Lizton, Indiana. The second of four children, John was raised on a small farm and learned at a young age the value of hard work and perseverance. Upon graduation from North Salem High School, John went on to Purdue University where he majored in Metallurgical Engineering, School of Material Science. At Purdue, John participated in the Cooperative Education and worked at US Steel in Gary, Indiana which helped defray the cost of his education. He also worked part-time at the Pizza Keg where, as he loved to demonstrate throughout his life, he learned to toss a pizza both clockwise and counterclockwise. A proud member of Triangle Fraternity, John enjoyed his time in the house and left the legacy that it is good when brothers live together in harmony. Upon graduation with his BSMEE in 1977, John started his career with the Detroit Diesel Allison (DDA) Division of General Motors.
It was at DDA that John and his wife of 37 years, Mary Ann (Gibbs) Storm first met above the Jumbo Cafeteria. They married on January 3, 1981, in a little church in Monteclair, Indiana. Nothing made John more proud than becoming a father to two daughters, Emily Ann (Storm) Smith, and Allison Ann Storm. Emily graduated from Purdue University in 2007 with a degree in Nuclear Engineering, then went on to Indiana University, Bloomington for her JD/MPA. She is currently a lawyer with Ice Miller, LLP. Emily married a fine man, Donald Lee Alvey Smith, of Louisville, Kentucky, in 2007. Emily and Don's son, Charlie, was the apple of his grandpa's eye. Allison graduated from Purdue University in 2014 with double degrees in Business from the Krannert School, and Fashion Merchandise from the College of Consumer Sciences. Allison is a castmember on the digital product team making magic with the Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Florida.
While at DDA, John's career included developing a new thermodynamic process to used to heat-treat irregularly shaped parts, like gears, shafts, and splines. Using dual-frequencies, this process dramatically reduces the amount of time needed to heat treat parts, and part requires no subsequent re-machining. DDA did not intend to pursue a patent on this process and allowed John to have the technology to patent. In 1986, John ventured out to co-found Contour Hardening, Inc. Under John's leadership, Contour has grown to be a leader in the field of heat treat and has facilities in Indianapolis, IN and Silao, Mexico. John holds over 200 US and International patents on a variety of processes and applications. John believed that treating employees like family was the key to a successful business. Simple things, like a company Christmas party that includes gifts for the children from Santa, reflect his commitment to the dedicated people who chose a career with Contour Hardening.
John was an inventor by nature. Everywhere he went, he came up with ideas for new inventions or improvements. In 2003, John formed Real Power Division of Contour Hardening, which manufactures chassis-integrated generator systems. In 1998, John combined his love for Indy Car racing with the development of ultra-lightweight transmission gears heat-treated using the Micropulse® technology. The CHI gearbox significantly contributed to Arie Luyendyk's 1997 Indy 500 win, and Scott Goodyear's second place finish in that same race. Contour Performance Products had gears in back-to-back Indy Racing League Championships in 2000-2001. John's knowledge of the Indianapolis 500 was legendary, and his color commentary during the month of May will be missed.
John had a lifelong love of music and was an avid collector of vintage audio equipment. Most recently, he was planning to get the band back together and dust of the drums to have some fun with other music loving friends alongside his piano-playing brother, David. John also loved fast cars and was dubbed "Lucky John" by his family because he never received a ticket on I-74 when he opened up one of his supercharged Camaros. His generous and loving nature resulted in a wide circle of friends and he loved spending time on the porch with his buddies.
John received many awards and accolades in his life, but none he cherished more than the "Distinguished Engineering Alumnae" award bestowed on him in 2004.
John is survived by his wife, Mary Ann (Gibbs) Storm, daughter Emily Ann (Storm) Smith (Donald L.A. Smith), daughter Allison Ann Storm, and grandson Charles Storm Smith. He is also survived by his brother David Storm (Susie), sister RoseAnna Rollinson (Bill), sister Anna McMasters (Mark), brother-in-law Jamie Gibbs (Paco Argiz), and brother-in-law Spencer Gibbs (Cindy). John is also survived by several nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Visitation will be on Friday, May 18, 2018 in Hampton-Gentry Funeral Home from 2:00 to 8:00 pm. Services will be in Hampton-Gentry Funeral Home Saturday, May 19, at 1:00 pm where friends may also visit from 11:00 am until time of service. Burial will follow after the service. The family would like to express their sincere gratitude and appreciation to the many dedicated doctors, nurses, technicians, and therapists on the IU Transplant Team. Special thanks to Dr. Raj Vuppalanchi who was not only John's doctor, but his dear friend. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of John may be sent to the Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Partnership, 132 E. 43rd Street, Suite 432, New York, NY 10017.www.hamptongentry.com
Published on May 15, 2018