Obituary: Thermoformer Clarence Schell

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Clarence E. Schell, 83, a founder of thermoformer Buckell Plastics Co. Inc., died June 4 following a two-year battle with bladder cancer.

Schell was known for his resourcefulness and as a master of many trades. He and a partner founded Buckell Plastics in Lancaster, Pa., in 1964. He later bought out the partner. The business moved to Lewiston in 1990.

“When he first got into the business, he rented a storefront and then moved it to his garage. He actually hand-built the next few buildings that he was in. He was builder, roofer, plumber, electrician …,” noted his son, Brian Schell, president of Schell Plastics LLC.

Clarence Schell was self-taught in many of his endeavors, but as a machinist and an old-time thermoformer and fabricator, he was able to adapt the situations.

One of his first machines was created for making signs, and Brian Schell said one of his signature signs was a two-part, hand-painted bull that American Breeders Corp. could mount as a display on top of a car.

Schell also produced slide packs and clamshells in the mid-1970s along with many other products. He retired in 1996 and spent many years converting a barn into a house on the family farm.

“Instead of telling a customer ‘I can’t do that,’ he would go out and do it,” said his son.

He is survived by his wife Thelma, along with three children — Brian, Gregory and Cathy Hoffmier, and their spouses.