Harborcreek Township, Pa. — Bill Witkowski, one of the local plastics industry leaders who were instrumental in convincing Penn State Behrend to start a plastics engineering technology program, died Dec. 7 after a brief illness. He was 78.
Witkowski graduated from Tech Memorial High School in Erie, Pa., in 1960 having studied tool and die. He attended Penn State University and graduated from Gannon University with a degree in mechanical engineering.
His father, Henry, started Port Erie Plastics, an injection molder and mold maker in Harborcreek, Pa., in 1953 and Witkowski started working there in 1957. He never stopped. As CEO, he oversaw the growth of the company into one of the region's largest plastics companies and continued to come to work every day until he was hospitalized.
He was immensely proud that the company has remained family-owned and now is being run by the fourth generation. Witkowski was an avid fan of Penn State, the Buffalo Bills and the game of golf, particularly Jack Nicklaus.
His support of Penn State Behrend is evidenced by the Witkowski Building on campus. Port Erie hired all of its engineers from Penn State over the years.
Witkowski is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 59 years, Jean Rosswog Witkowski; four children; 10 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.
Visitation is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Dec. 17 at Dusckas-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Harborcreek Township.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Dec. 18 at Saint Gregory Roman Catholic Church in North East, Pa.
Memorial contributions may be designated to Tunnel to Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island, N.Y. 10306 or Saint Gregory RC Church, 136 W Main St, North East, Pa. 16428.