Evansville's much-honored Schroeder
EVANSVILLE, IND. John H. Schroeder, who founded three plastics companies in Evansville, died April 4. He was 90.
Schroeder founded Crescent Plastics Inc., Cresline Plastic Pipe Co. Inc. and Wabash Plastics Inc. The University of Evansville credited Schroeder with taking a leadership role in establishing Evansville as the plastics capital of the country.
He is also credited with helping to guide the University of Evansville through the aftermath of the 1977 plane crash that killed every member and coach of the university's basketball team. He received the university's highest distinction, the Medal of Honor, in 1981, and he was granted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Schroeder earned a bachelor's degree from Wabash College in 1942, and an MBA from the Harvard School of Business Administration in 1947.
He is survived by his wife, Ginny, and two sons, John C. and Richard.
KlÃ¶ckner's US founder, Harry van Beek
EARLYSVILLE, VA. Harry van Beek, 77, of Earlysville, founder and president from 1977-1999 of films producer KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast of America Inc., died April 4. Company spokeswoman Nancy Ryan said April 7 that his family has chosen not to disclose the cause of death.
To say Harry van Beek was KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast's president falls short of describing the impact and importance he had on KP and the plastics industry during his tenure, Tom Goeke, CEO of KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast Group, said in an April 7 news release.
According to Gordonsville, Va.-based KlÃ¶ckner, Van Beek was born in Eindhoven, Netherlands, on Feb. 3, 1934.
In 1961, he married Janny Verhoeven; they had four children, Olga, Jeroen, Inge and Jan-Bas.
The van Beeks moved to the U.S. in 1978. He became a U.S. citizen in 1994.
Van Beek contributed in several ways to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, including helping to arrange for KlÃ¶ckner Group to donate $1.2 million of the $3.4 million cost of building KlÃ¶ckner Stadium, and becoming a founding member of the board of the Children's Medical Center at the university.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials take the form of donations to the University of Virginia Children's Medical Center, P.O. Box 800773, Charlottesville, Va. 22908.
Machinery veteran Lemke dies at 72
SPARTANBURG, S.C. Bob Lemke, a veteran plastics machinery salesman who ran manufacturers' representative firm ABC Lemke Inc., died April 2. He was 72.
Lemke played a key role in setting up Battenfeld of America, the U.S. operation of the German injection molding machine manufacturer, in the early 1960s. He founded ABC Lemke in 1979. The firm is in Spartanburg.
His daughter, Allegra Johnson, said he died from a lung disease called COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She said her father was diagnosed a few months ago, and the disease became more severe.
He passed away peacefully at Spartanburg Regional Hospital, she said.
Lemke was known as a low-key machinery guy, with a background in engineering and plastics processing. That personality was in great contrast to his wife, Constanze Flindt Lemke, who gained a reputation as a take-charge woman executive in a plastics equipment industry dominated by men.
Constanze Flindt Lemke died in 2003.
Formula's Mora, diverse entrepreneur
SAN DIEGO Elias Alex Mora, an industry icon in the western United States and Mexico, died in his sleep at age 61 on April 2 in his Mammoth Lakes, Calif., holiday home. A memorial service was held April 8 in San Diego.
The entrepreneurial Mora was president of injection molder Formula Plastics Inc. of Tecate, Mexico.
Within the Formula plastics complex, Mora oversaw the operation of six legally separate polymer processing plants, an educational and conference center, a construction company, an integrated long-haul trucking business and onsite food services including a traditional Mexican-themed employee cafeteria and the Plaza Santa Monica gourmet restaurant.
The separation of the plastics processing facilities was designed to recognize the value of each group having its own control, and works within Mexican tax laws that favor small plants.
He was also a skilled educator. He taught about plastics processing technology, innovative techniques and the values of social responsibility and ethical behavior.
Mora's survivors include four children in addition to his wife, Marina.