Robert Leo Hulseman, 84, the former CEO of Solo Cup Co. and the inventor of the red Solo cup, died Dec. 21.
Hulseman worked for nearly 60 years at Solo Cup, which was founded by his father, and oversaw the company's growth into one of the largest food service packaging companies in the world. He ultimately served as president and CEO until his retirement in 2006.
Dart Container Corp., which has owned Solo since 2012, issued a statement, noting “Dart Container is grateful for his commitment to Solo and for his legacy of products that are now an important part of Dart's offerings. We offer condolences to his family and friends.”
“Mr. Hulseman was incredibly passionate about his work, enjoyed mentoring his staff, had a tremendous sense of humor and valued a family-oriented work atmosphere,” said Margo Burrage, Dart manager of corporate communications.
Hulseman was a resident of Northfield, Ill. and Scottsdale, Ariz.
He was known as an innovator, a hands-on manufacturing expert and a pioneer in the industry. The Red Solo Cup and the Traveller Lid — used by coffee shops around the world — are among the items best known during his tenure.
The Red Solo Cup, which was introduced in the 1970s, was immortalized by a 2011 song by country singer Toby Keith.
Hulseman met Sheila, his wife of nearly 60 years, as a student at Marquette University and together they were later awarded honorary doctorates from the Catholic Theological Union in recognition of their lifelong commitment to service and principled leadership. They were committed to support Catholic education, anti-poverty initiatives and religious communities.
His wife died in 2015 and they are survived by nine of their 10 children.
Funeral services took place Dec. 26 in Winnetka, Ill.