An early morning plane crash near Findlay, Ohio, claimed the lives of a plastics company executive and two pilots Dec. 20.
Frederick Kremer Jr., 71, chairman and former president of Findlay-based pipe maker Hancor Inc., died after the single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza he was aboard crashed shortly after takeoff from Findlay Municipal airport.
Pilots Harvey Pace, 50, of Findlay and Phillip Wyse, 40, of Stryker, Ohio, also died in the crash, according to a Hancor news release. Both were employed by another company Kremer owned, Rowmark Inc. of Findlay.
Kremer guided Hancor as president and chairman from 1986 — when he led a buyout of the 110-year-old firm from the founding Child family — through 1996. Current President Dail Herman took the reins of Hancor's day-to-day operations in January 1997, while Kremer remained as chairman.
Kremer bought Rowmark, which makes plastic sheet for engraving, from Hancor in October 1997.
Hancor said Kremer was returning home after a Friday Christmas party for Rowmark. According to news reports, Kremer flew from Findlay to his home in Chappaqua, N.Y., every weekend since becoming Hancor's president in 1983.
News reports indicated heavy fog settled in the area around the time of the crash, but the National Transportation Safety Board said an investigation into the actual causes of the crash will take several months to complete.
The plane belonged to GF Aviation of Findlay, which Kremer also owned, according to news reports.
Kremer is survived by his wife, Edna, of Chappaqua, and three daughters.
Pace, who had worked with Hancor/Rowmark since 1994, is survived by his wife, Barbara. Additional information on Wyse was not available by press time.
Hancor, a leader in the corrugated high density polyethylene pipe field, placed 13th on Plastics News' ranking of pipe, profile and tubing extruders. It employs 1,000, and did 1996 sales of $185 million.