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Obituary: UPM co-founder Raymond Dowling, 80

By: Roger Renstrom

August 9, 2013

A public memorial service for company Chairman Raymond L. Dowling is scheduled at 11 a.m. Aug. 10 at the facility of Universal Plastic Mold Inc. in Baldwin Park, Calif.

Dowling, 80, died Aug. 1 at the USC Keck Hospital in Los Angeles due to complications from a heart attack.

Dowling was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, left his adoptive home at age 16 with a 10th grade education and eventually built a southern California plastics processing business now operating 37 injection molding machines, employing nearly 300 and occupying 127,000 square feet.

Dowling and two partners founded UPM in 1962 with one machine in a garage in Azusa, Calif., and then operated in nearby Irwindale. The business moved to Baldwin Park in 1978. One partner left almost immediately after the start of the business, and Dowling acquired the other partner's shares in the mid-1980s.

Dowling enjoyed the production side dealing with technical issues, solving problems and teaching others about the intricacies and nuances of injection, coinjection, gas-assist, insert and structural foam molding processes.

As recently as July 19 before his hospitalization, he came into the office and functioned for a few hours as a troubleshooter. He would check molding cycle times, talk with the head processor and walk the production floor conversing with technicians and set-up staff members.

Dowling resided in San Dimas, was an avid golfer and founding member of Via Verde Country Club in San Dimas and enjoyed fishing, water and snow skiing and games of skill and chance. He experienced a stroke in 1982, a kidney transplant in 1990 and a form of cancer in 2003.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Joan Perreira Dowling; children Peggy, Steve, Jason and Andy; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Jason is UPM president, and Steve is UPM vice president of operations.

A private ceremony is planned Sept. 7. The family suggests memorial donations to the National Kidney Foundation, Finance Department, 30 E. 33rd St., New York, NY 10016.