Norman Fain, who helped grow Teknor Apex Co. of Pawtucket, R.I., from a tire recapper to a leading plastics compounder, died Nov. 1 at age 89.
Fain joined Teknor in 1936, 12 years after his father, Alfred, had launched the firm as Apex Tire & Rubber in Providence, R.I. Apex began diversifying out of the tire market, adding rubber mixing in 1945 and PVC compounding in 1949.
Norman Fain became Teknor's chairman in 1968 after his family - along with the Baxt family and other investors - bought the business back from Continental Oil, which had purchased it in 1963.
``Under Norman Fain's leadership, Teknor Apex carried out expansions and acquisitions that made it a national organization and accelerated its diversification,'' Teknor officials said in a Nov. 7 news release.
Fain is survived by his son Jonathan, who has served as Teknor's president and chief executive officer since the early 1990s, as well as two daughters and seven grandchildren. In spite of recent health problems, Norman Fain went to his Teknor office almost daily until August.
Fain and his wife Rosalie were contributors to a number of Rhode Island charities. He also served on the boards of Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island and other institutions.
Teknor ranks as one of North America's 30 largest compounders and also is a significant producer of specialty chemicals, rubber compounds and PVC garden hose. The firm employs more than 2,000 at 10 plants.
Teknor, which recently completed an expansion of its first Asian location in Singapore, posted sales of about $500 million in 2002.