Ronald Schroeder, co-founder and longtime president of Epco Machinery LLC, a remanufacturer of plastics and die-casting machinery, died Dec. 17 from complications of a rare form of Parkinson's disease. He was 78.
He died at Fremont Valley View Care Center in Fremont, Ohio.
Schroeder began his plastics career as an electrician working at an injection molding plant for Santay Corp. But Santay abruptly closed its doors, leaving him out of a job.
In 1959, Schroeder and business partner Sterling Cramer started an equipment service business called Engineered Plastics Machinery Co. Epco operated out of the basement of Cramer's house in Park Ridge, Ill.
Epco moved to Ohio after it bought an injection press maker, Sund Borg Machines, in Fremont.
Cramer, who retired as president and became chairman when Epco moved to Ohio, died in 2005. Schroeder became president until he retired in 1996, when his son, Steve Schroeder, took over.
Epco grew into a major remanufacturing company and also built some new machinery.
Steve Schroeder called his father a can-do person: To the many people in our industry he was an innovator and a doer.
With the help of a talented staff of employees, many of his dreams and ideas came true and he helped others prosper. That always meant a lot to him, said Steve Schroeder, who is now global business development manager for controls maker Eurotherm Inc.
In Ronald Schroeder's memory, donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research in New York.