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The plastics industry lost two professionals in the weeks leading up to the end of 2010. Fred Cooke was one of the industry's early pioneers, while Michael Madden was still a very active industry player when he passed away just before Christmas.

PlasticsToday Staff

January 3, 2011

2 Min Read
Names in the News: In memoriam—Fred Cooke and Michael Madden

The plastics industry lost two professionals in the weeks leading up to the end of 2010. Fred Cooke was one of the industry's early pioneers, while Michael Madden was still a very active industry player when he passed away just before Christmas.

Cooke, an Englishman, was born September 11, 1937 and died November 30, 2010. He worked in and around the plastics industry for more than 50 years and was of the generation that pioneered and shaped the industry we know today. Cooke's early efforts were most notable in the development of plastics processing machinery, particularly in injection molding and extrusion. After an apprenticeship with early injection molding machine builder Peco in his native Battersea, and then service with the Royal Engineers, he became a sales and project engineer with Hamilton Machinery Sales, which later was acquired by Demag.

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Fred Cooke was one of the industry's early pioneers.

Eventually he struck out on his own, forming Optimum Machinery Sales to market Josef Krauss-brand injection molding machinery. Optimum later evolved into a plastics industry service group covering design, marketing, consultancy and recruitment. Here Cooke's lateral thinking helped in projects including development of the prototype of a sea-going injection molding system for cable-laying ships.

Later in his career, Cooke conceived and ran the Hi-Tech and Learning Centers at the Interplas exhibitions of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and pursued his interest in teaching and training as a technical journalist and by lecturing at East Surrey Technical College and what is now London Metropolitan University. He is survived by his wife Jenny and their sons Stephen and Andrew.

Passing away in the days before Christmas at the age of 58 was Michael Madden, a partner and vice president of sales for custom compounder ECM Plastics Inc. Madden, of Belchertown, MA, was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Upon graduation he went to work for Coz Chemical in Northbridge, MA, initially as a customer service representative and later taking up a sales position for the company. 

Following his successful career at Coz Chemical, Madden left the company to become a partner in plastics compounder ECM Plastics (Worcester, MA) in 1996, where he served as VP of sales. He also was a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers.

"All of us at ECM Plastics will miss Mike and the level of professionalism he brought to our organization and to the plastics industry", said Wayne Marquis, president at ECM. "During his career, he formed many close personal and professional relationships with employees, customers, and suppliers that were revered and respected. He will be missed both within and outside of our organization." Madden is survived by his wife and three daughters.

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