Fred Engers, operations director at Hoffer Plastics Corp. and a 30-year Hoffer veteran, died May 22 at Louis A. Weiss Hospital in Chicago.
Engers was 61. He had heart problems, said Bill Hoffer, vice president of operations. He called Engers ``a companion and a dedicated employee'' of the South Elgin company.
Engers cared about people. ``He was very concerned about moving the company ahead, but was also interested in helping the fellow employees,'' Hoffer said.
In 1973, Hoffer Plastics hired Engers as plant manager. He was one of the first managers hired from the outside by the family-owned custom injection molder.
He took an active role in the plant, which Hoffer Plastics set up as an automatic molding operation for producing closures and aerosol parts.
Engers was instrumental in expanding Hoffer Plastics through the 1980s and 1990s, including the addition of new presses, automation and process controls. He helped set up the assembly department as the firm became a national leader in making spout assemblies, valves for bag-in-box dispensers and other products.
``We lost a colleague, a friend, as well as a talented, dedicated member of our Hoffer community,'' Bill Hoffer said.