Morris Winkler, 76
LOS ANGELES - Pioneering plastics industry entrepreneur Morris Winkler, 76, died Oct. 8 at his Los Angeles home of cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease in early 2004.
Winkler is credited with establishing as many as a half dozen plastics processing businesses, mostly in Southern California, during 62 years in the industry. He started at age 13, working in a plant making plastic shower doors and braided garden hoses.
He received a 1992 distinguished service award from the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Western Section. ``He was hands-on and a teacher,'' said his son, Jaime Winkler.
Winkler, often with his brother, Paul, founded and operated several businesses that processed polymers. In some cases, a large corporation - DiGorgio Corp., Coca-Cola Co., Scott Paper Co., Newell Corp. - acquired a Winkler business.
The early businesses included Morwin-Products and Winkler Products, manufacturers of polystyrene and polypropylene cutlery, straws and bar supplies. To boost the business and obtain a straw patent, they acquired Flexible Straw Corp., which became Winkler Flexible Products Inc., with a market focus on PP straws.
Wincup Inc. produced foamed PS cups and plates and do-it-yourself paint industry products including PS and PP roller and wallpaper trays.
Winform Inc., later as Winkler Forming Inc., at various times extruded and thermoformed PET and amorphous PET food packaging.
In addition to son Jaime, he is survived by his wife, Mitzi.
Merrill Roth, 94
PORTLAND, ORE. - Merrill Roth, 94, died Sunday Oct. 2 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Portland of sudden circulatory collapse.
Born in Canby, Ore., in 1911, he graduated from Northwest School of Commerce in accounting in 1928. Roth started compression and injection molder Grant & Roth Plastics Inc. in 1946 with his neighbor Dean Grant. The Hillsboro, Ore., company was sold in 1989.
In 1996, he funded an annual $2,500 scholarship at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., for a female plastics engineering student in the school's Department of Engineering Technology. He created the scholarship as a memorial to his spouse of 57 years, Ivy, who died in a 1994 automobile accident.
Also in 1996, he married Myrtle Van Dyke, owner of Vancouver, Wash.-based custom injection molder ABC Plastics, a division of Rest-A-Phone Corp.
Roth, an aviation enthusiast, was honored by the plastics industry. He was on the board of directors of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. He was named Western Plastics Man of the Year in 1979 and was named to the Western Plastics Hall of Fame in 2000.
One of his sons, Rod Roth, is president of R&D Plastics LLC in Hillsboro.
Gianni Radici, 81
LEFFE, ITALY - Gianni Radici, 81, honorary president of RadiciGroup, died Oct. 5 in Leffe after a long illness.
The former chief executive officer and president of the Bergamo, Italy-based firm, expanded the home textiles business he inherited from his father in the 1940s to an international firm with plants in Europe, China, USA and Latin America. The group's activities are managed through its chemicals, plastics, fibers, textiles and auxiliary divisions.