Tim Katen, one of the co-founders of Micro Mold Co. Inc. and Plastikos Inc. in Erie, Pa., died Jan. 29, just weeks after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He was 76.
Katen and David Mead founded toolmaker Micro Mold in 1978 and injection molder Plastikos in 1989. Katen's sons Phil and Ryan are on the companies' executive team today.
"Tim was passionately dedicated to his family, businesses, employees, and local community," the company wrote on LinkedIn. "Even in retirement, it was not uncommon to see Tim walking through the halls of Micro Mold, Plastikos, and Plastikos Medical on a weekly basis — sometimes with one or more of his grandchildren by his side — checking on the status of projects and always giving invaluable advice to make us better in our respective roles."
Katen graduated from McDowell High School in 1965, then he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17 and served on active duty during the Vietnam War.
After his service in the military, he enrolled in trade school and started his mold-making career at Seaway Tool & Die.
Katen retired in 2010, the same year that Plastikos won the Plastics News Processor of the Year award. Today the company has more than 200 employees.
"His enthusiasm for the industry and the commitment he had to the companies' success was unmatched. We would not be where we are today without his entrepreneurial spirit and resilience," the company wrote on LinkedIn.
Katen was diagnosed with cancer a month ago, and more recently received the more specific diagnosis of mesothelioma. He is survived by his wife of nearly 49 years, Elizabeth, and their three children: Philip, Melissa Siever, and Ryan.
Services will be held Feb. 9 and 10 at Burton Quinn-Scott Cremation & Funeral Services in Erie. Memorial donations may be made in Katen's memory to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital located at 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105.