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Stanley Williams Jr., 89, founder of Wilco Die-Tool Machine Co. in 1949 and Wilco Molding Inc. in 1975 in the St. Louis, MO area, passed away at his home May 24. Williams started his first shop in his parents' garage in 1946 after returning home from WWII, where he served in the Marine Corps.

Clare Goldsberry

June 8, 2012

2 Min Read
Early moldmaking entrepreneur dies at 89

Stanley Williams Jr., 89, founder of Wilco Die-Tool Machine Co. in 1949 and Wilco Molding Inc. in 1975 in the St. Louis, MO area, passed away at his home May 24. Williams started his first shop in his parents' garage in 1946 after returning home from WWII, where he served in the Marine Corps. At first, Williams primarily fabricated metal stamping dies, but when he saw the demand for plastic injection molding growing, he began making tooling for plastic.StanleyWilliams.jpg

Stanley Williams Jr.

As the company grew over the next four decades, Williams added more equipment, including molding machines, so that by 1994, Wilco Molding had 13 presses. In 2008, Wilco bought an automation company and renamed it Wilco Automation LLC,  and consolidated that business with Wilco Die-Tool Machine into a facility at Wilco's three-building complex in Maryland Heights, MO, comprising a total of 36,000 sq ft.

In 2011, Wilco came out with its first proprietary product, the Brush Vest-a paint brush cover/protector-a idea that Kim Williams, Stanley Williams' son thought of. Wilco entered the paint sundry retail market.

Today the company is a full-service moldmaking, molding and automation company, with 17 injection molding presses ranging from 55-550 tons, and all three companies are ISO certified. In 1974, Wilco was consumed by a fire, marking a pivotal moment in the company's history, according to its web site. "[The fire] was definitely a turning point in the company, [Williams] could have easily closed up shop and been done. Instead, he not only rebuilt but expanded at the same time and doubled his shop to 12,000 sq ft."

Stanley Williams leave his wife of 66 years, Doris Williams, and son Kim Alan Williams and three grandchildren. A memorial service was held June 8 with the family requesting contributions to Shriners Hospital in St. Louis or Life Church St. Louis in Chesterfield, MO. 

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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