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The plastics industry, especially the moldmaking sector, has lost a good friend and a strong contributor. Steven J. Bales, president of Bales Mold Service (Downers Grove, IL), died suddenly on November 18, 2009 in Harlingen, TX, where his company has a facility.

PlasticsToday Staff

November 23, 2009

2 Min Read
Obituary: Steven J. Bales, 53, president of Bales Mold Service

The plastics industry, especially the moldmaking sector, has lost a good friend and a strong contributor. Steven J. Bales, president of Bales Mold Service (Downers Grove, IL), died suddenly on November 18, 2009 in Harlingen, TX, where his company has a facility.

Steve Bales and his brother Mike started Bales Mold Service in 1978 to offer diamond polishing and hard chrome plating for injection molds. The company grew steadily, becoming well known for engineered coatings and finishes, among other products and services. Steve frequently gave presentations at industry technical conferences and, with others from his company, was a familiar figure at events such as NPE and MoldMaking Expo.


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Steve Bales

Bales Mold Service opened its second facility in Harlingen in 2001 to serve customers in the southern U.S. and the Maquiladora region. Just prior to the company’s 30th anniversary celebration in 2008, an addition to the Downers Grove plant was opened, adding capacity for electroless nickel and hard chrome plating, plus an advanced-technology wet chemistry lab.


Having worked closely with Steve Bales for 13 years as the company’s sales and tech services manager, Harry Raimondi said, “Steve was an innovator, and was always looking for new ways to advance mold coating technology.  While the majority of our business is in the plastics industry, Steve also made sure the company was diversified in terms of markets, focusing on stainless steel passivation for aerospace and leveraging our expertise in coatings to many other industries.  He was a leader, an employer, and friend who was loved and respected by his employees.”


Acknowledging that Steve will be missed, his family and many long-time employees say that his vision and dedication will be carried on. Steve Bales is survived by two daughters, Stacey Bales and Sara Mortensen, two granddaughters, his mother Joan, his brother Mike, and two sisters, Judy and Patti. His nephew, John Bailey, is plant manager at Bales Mold Service. —[email protected]

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