Robert McGowan, who ran Continental Southern Industries Inc., a rotational molder and large-part blow molder, died Sept. 8. He was 59.
McGowan died from multiple organ failure, and he had pancreatic cancer, said his wife, Jocelyn.
McGowan assumed the role of president in 1995. CSI was founded in 1970 by his father-in-law, Elmer Goodwin.
The company began by making products for the textile industry, and started to do rotomolding in 1980, according to Tom Osolinski, who was blow molding manager at Continental Southern Industries. CSI, which also into industrial blow molding, specialized in big parts.
CSI was a major manufacturer of large, flat plastic parts. The company blow molded panels for Rubbermaid sheds when that product took off, doing production on machines with 40-, 50- and 60-pound heads, Osolinski said. CSI also developed its own line of trash dumpster lids.
In early 2012, Wisconsin rotomolder Dutchland Plastics Corp. bought the blow molding assets of Continental Southern Industries, and later sold the equipment to Mergon Corp. in Anderson, S.C. Osolinski said CSI had exited the rotomolding business a few years before that.
Osolinski remembers Continental Southern Industries as a good place to work. “This was really a family situation. This was a family-owned company,” he said. “There's not many companies that are as family-oriented as that.”
McGowan would take some employees on annual retreats, for camping and fishing, he said. An obituary in The Greenville News said that in retirement, he worked as a film extra and liked to golf and cook.
Osolinski now is engineering manager at Mosaic Color and Additives LLC, a color compounder in Greenville, just a few miles from CSI's old plant. Several other former CSI employees work there, he said.
They are remembering their old boss and friend.
A memorial service is set for 3 p.m. Saturday at Christ Church Episcopal in Greenville.