AKRON, OHIO - Marvin Becker, an expert in plastics processing who established major distribution and manufacturing businesses, died of cancer Aug. 9 at his home in Branford, Conn. Becker was 67. Becker was president of Network Polymers Inc., a distributor of thermoplastic resins, and executive vice president of Diamond Polymers Inc., a manu-facturer of ABS resin.
The companies, with combined sales of $45 million projected for 1995, are headquartered in Akron.
Becker was comfortable in both the academic and business worlds.
As a business owner, his strengths were chiefly in the areas of finance, organization and polymer chemistry, said partner Alan Woll.
``You never experienced an analytical mind like Marvin Becker,'' he said. ``But he was a quietman and he rarely let people inside.''
Woll assumes the title of president at Network and continues in that role at Diamond Polymers.
Bruce A. Petersen, vice president and general manager of the companies, takes over many of the day-to-day management tasks that were formerly handled by Becker.
After earning bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Becker joined Monsanto Corp. in 1950 to help develop material used in the manufacture of 45 rpm recordings.
He went on to become superintendent of polystyrene extrusion at Monsanto's Springfield, Mass., plant. During this period, he commuted evenings to the University of Connecticut Law School where he received a law degree.
In 1960, Becker moved to Richardson Corp., then a rather rudimentary polystyrene manufacturing operation. He transformed the company into a producer of specialty styrene resins and styrene methyl methacrylate materials.
Becker was promoted to president of Richardson before starting his own firm, Bon-Tec, in 1964.
At Bon-Tec, Becker developed the process for ``seamless bra cups'' through plug-assist vacuum forming of foamed polyurethane sheet.
He would also visit New York department stores, pitching his innovation to wholesale buyers of lingerie.
Becker later formed the Rowland Development Corp., which made reflective tape, reflective safety products and other extruded devices.
Becker's connections to the Asian resin market spanned more than two decades.
In 1974, he started a joint venture with Okamoto Riken Gomu of Japan to market scrap U.S. plastic in Asian countries. But first he had to explain to customers in Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and China how they could recycle and reuse the plastic.
Network Polymers was Becker's biggest enterprise. In 1986, he and Woll started the distribution company with the cooperation of Marubeni Corp. of Japan. The next year, Marubeni purchased 50 percent of Network Polymers.
In 1989, Network joined with Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. to form Diamond Polymers Inc., a manufacturer of ABS resin.
Although both Network and Diamond are based in Akron, Becker maintained an office in Connecticut, where he preferred to live.
He is survived by his wife, Jessica Miller Becker; daughter Sally Becker of Vail, Colo.; sons Michael Becker of Akron and Adam Becker of Rome; stepchildren Anna Resnick of Cheshire, Conn., and Mark and David Resnick, both of Boulder, Colo.; and two grandchildren.
A sister, Natalie Becker, lives in New York and brother Gary S. Becker is a professor of economics and sociology at the University of Chicago.
The family asks that memorial contributions be directed to Connecticut Hospice, 61 Burban Drive, Branford, Conn., 06405; the Dr. Noah Miller Research Fund of Childrens' Medical Center, 1 Perkins Square, Akron, Ohio, 44308; or the American Cancer Society.