Monroe Wertheimer first came to the Pacific Northwest on vacation in 1925. While on a tour of Long-Bell Lumber in Longview he noticed that all the waste from the lumber mill, in the form of wood chips, was being burned. He got an idea: to make paper board from the Douglas fir wood chips. He pursued the idea, experimenting until he was successful.
In 1926 he recruited his friend, Harry L. Wollenberg, to co-found Longview Fibre, with his son, Robert Wertheimer, a graduate of MIT, as mill manager. The company began its prosperous combination of tree farming and paper board.
Phillip Wertheimer's later life
Phillip Wertheimer attended Lakeside School in Seattle. He came to Reed in 1940, left during the war years, and came back in 1945 as a physics major; he dropped out in 1948. Jeanne said that Phillip would joke that it was out of fear that he would not pass his German class. He transferred to the University of Washington, where he earned a degree in engineering.
After graduation Wertheimer joined the family company as a mechanical engineer. He later retired from Longview Fibre as supervisor of mechanical engineering.
Wertheimer didn't forget his experience at Reed, and in particular he didn't forget the positive influence of a favorite physics professor, A.A. (Tony) Knowlton. Years later, Wertheimer endowed a professorship named in honor of Knowlton.
Phillip helped establish Lower Columbia Community College in 1976 through a generous donation. After his death Jeanne Wertheimer continued her husband's tradition of philanthropy by giving the Longview restaurant she owned to the college.
Jeanne describes her 28-year marriage to Phillip as "a great romance." His international hunting excursions, to places as remote as the Gobi Desert and Afghanistan, opened up a whole new world to her: she previously had known only Longview and her childhood home of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. She continues to travel to the farthest points of the globe.
Koblik estimates that Phillip Wertheimer's gift to the college can potentially pave the way for at least 80 additional students every year to attend four years at Reed. It is clear from his conversations with Jeanne Wertheimer that this is exactly what Phillip desired: that intellectually talented students should not have to worry about whether they can afford the cost of college.