James Heider, a plastics engineer who helped develop plastic bottles for beverages and detergents, died Jan. 12, 2018, at age 81.
Heider was an outstanding high school athlete and was inducted into the Toledo City League Hall of Fame in 1992. He earned an academic scholarship to Toledo University and earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1959. In 1961, he earned a master’s degree from Princeton.
He was employed at Owens-Illinois and received numerous patents in helping to pioneer the development of plastic bottles for beverages and detergents. He retired as technical director of Owens-Illinois after 27 years.
Heider then was vice president of development and engineering at Glasstech, where he helped develop innovative processes for manufacturing glass for automobiles and buildings. He also operated his own plastics-consulting business. Later, he worked for Solar Cells and Willard & Kelsey Solar Groups. Overall, he received more than 150 patents.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ruth; five children; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. One son predeceased him.
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