Of Mike Reedy
Foam pioneer dies at 60.
As a technical resource for plastics processors both in print and on-line, we generally don’t cover the deaths of people in our industry. But I thought I’d make an exception in this blog after I heard about the passing of Mike Reedy, who died at the too-young age of 60 on August 16 after battling pancreatic cancer.
I first heard Mike was sick some months back, after my colleague Lilli Sherman called the company he founded 24 years ago, Reedy International in Keyport, N.J., to see if he’d be interested in writing an article for us. Since then, I’ve reflected on the dozens of times we’d run into each other and exchange pleasantries over the many years we've known each other.
Mike and I lived fairly close to each other in central New Jersey, and would meet time to time for lunch. Not enough times, as it turns out. Mike was clearly one of the world’s foremost authorities on foam, and has numerous patents in the field. He was also an insider in every sense of the word in his business life. If there was an ANTEC, a K Show, an NPE Show, a regional conference, an SPE meeting, an SPI event…Mike was there. He also had intimate knowledge of numerous projects that were in development or in production where his materials were being used, and took great delight in only giving me the tiniest of details involving them. He had inside info, he wanted you to know that he had it, and he wasn't sharing! “I have a non-disclosure on that…sorry,” he’d tell me when I pressed for details…details that never came. He was usually smiling when he said that. “Off the record, Mike?” I'd nudge. “Nah,” he'd reply. Truth be told, I think he took great delight in my disappointment in not getting full disclosure, but he'd have a good chuckle and I quickly got over it.
But life, and business, goes on. Reedy International is truly a family company, as Mike’s wife Anne Marie and children are all involved in the operation. In fact, Mike’s step-son Peter Schroeck, now the company’s president/CEO, will be contributing the article on foaming that we originally thought to ask Mike to write. Look for it in November. He has a tough act to follow.