POUTNEY, RICHARD IRVING (28 Feb. 1927-24 Jan. 1993) was the founder of the West Side Institute of Technology and a leader in vocational training. He was also president and chairman of the board of the Stella Maris Home (see STELLA MARIS DETOX CENTER) where he counseled recovering alcoholics.
Born in Cleveland to Clifford and Mary Poutney, Richard graduated from St. Boniface High School and joined the maritime service as a marine engineer (1944-1953). Leaving the maritime service, Poutney worked at Republic Steel as a turbine engineer until 1960.
In 1957 Poutney founded the West Side Institute as an adult occupational training school at his home on 3812 W. 132 St. For five years he taught classes in the basement which housed his laboratory. In 1963 Poutney purchased a 3-story former bakery building on Denison Ave. In 1968 he leased two administration buildings of the former Industrial Rayon Co. plant on Walford Ave.
Poutney offered two-year associate's degrees in power plant operation, stationary engineering, environmental technology, steam technology, electrical refrigeration, air conditioning, instrumentation, water chemistry, combustion control, domestic and commercial heating. He continued as consultant for the school after retiring in 1988.
For more than 30 years Poutney volunteered as a counselor for recovering alcoholics through the alcohol and drug treatment facility at the Stella Maris Home where he served as president and chairman of the board from the mid-1980's until his death.
Poutney married Betty Nally on 22 April 1949. They had 3 children, Richard, Peter and Patricia (Tehorek). Poutney is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery.