Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana


March 5, 2014

Frederick Whitney Rockwood, 66

Frederick Whitney Rockwood, 66, Batesville, passed away peacefully at his home March 3, 2014. 

He was born in Salt Lake City Dec. 18, 1947, to Lewis Frederick and Muriel Whitney Rockwood, who are now both deceased.

In 1967, he was called to serve a mission to the Southern Far East Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and spent two and one-half years in Hong Kong serving the Chinese people. Upon his return, he married Jolene Edmunds for time and eternity in the Salt Lake City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He graduated from Stanford University in 1972 with distinction and departmental honors with a B.A. degree in anthropology, and was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa National Honorary Society. He earned his J.D. degree with honors in 1975 from Harvard Law School.

After graduation, he worked as a strategic business consultant at Boston Consulting Group and then at Bain and Co. until 1977, when he and his family moved to Batesville to accept a position with Hillenbrand Industries. While at Hillenbrand Industries, he served as a senior vice president of corporate planning until 1985, when he became the founder and first chief executive officer of the Forethought Group, a new Hillenbrand company. Under his direction, Forethought grew into a large successful company and was featured in many publications, including the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine

In 1997, he became CEO of the Hillenbrand Funeral Planning Division (Forethought and Batesville Casket Co.), and then in 1999, president and CEO of Hillenbrand Industries, consisting of Hill-Rom, Forethought and Batesville Casket Co. He felt honored to work with members of the Hillenbrand family, and he had the distinction of being the first CEO of Hillenbrand Industries who was not a family member. He and other Hillenbrand Industries executives were honored to be able to ring the closing bell to celebrate Hillenbrand Industries' anniversary on the New York Stock Exchange.

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