Better Plastics' Messina, 82
MAITLAND, FLA. - William Messina, 82, chief executive officer and president of injection molder Better Plastics Inc., died Dec. 1 of pneumonia.
A resident of Maitland, he had worked out of the firm's Kissimmee, Fla., headquarters for the past 42 years.
Messina served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and in 1952 earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. He started as a plastics engineer at Union Carbide Corp. in Bound Brook, N.J., then was assigned a sales territory in Cleveland, where he served a term as president of the Cleveland section of the Society of Plastics Engineers.
He worked at Wilson Plastics in Sandusky, Ohio, and then at Ritter-Wilson Co. in Orlando, Fla., where he and key personnel acquired full interest in the firm in 1963 and renamed it Better Plastics Inc.
Over the decades, Better Plastics has acquired several manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania, as well as plants in Connecticut and Virginia. Messina is credited with creating many of the shapes and sizes of plastic flowerpots available today.
Messina is survived by his wife, Boots.