Bruno E. Wessinger, 96, died peacefully at his home in Vero Beach May 13, 2010 with his wife of 68 years, Lillian, at his side.
He was born in Pforzheim, Germany on April 20, 1914. He immigrated to the United States with his parents on Christmas Day 1927, and became a U.S. citizen in 1935.
He grew up in the Hartford, Conn., area where he graduated from Trade School specializing in plumbing.
During the Depression he followed his father to Long Island and attended Pratt Institute and Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute nights to study mold making. In 1937 he entered the plastic industry as a mold maker and honed his skills.
He founded Wess Plastic Molds, Inc. on Oct. 1, 1945. In 1949 he started a related company RC Molding, Inc., which manufactured plastic products from the molds Wess Plastic built.
He was active in the plastic industry being a member of both the Society of Plastic Engineers (SPE) and the Society of the Plastic Industry (SPI). He was president of the New York Chapter of the SPE in 1951. In 1965 he was inducted into the Plastic Pioneers Association.
He was a generous donor to the Pioneer’s Education Committee and as a committee member helped choose scholarship recipients. In 1996 he was awarded the SPI Mold Makers Division Distinguished Service Award.
Wess Plastic produced a proprietary slide mount for the Multi-Image Industry which became known throughout the world as the “Wess Mount” and Mr. Wessinger was referred to as “Mr. Wess Mount” by its users.
In his leisure time Bruno was an avid boater and water sports enthusiast. He was a life member of the Huntington Yacht Club, and cruised on Long Island Sound, the Hudson River, and the New York State Barge Canal system.
He enjoyed swimming, wind surfing, and sailing, skippering his 17-foot Thistle class in summer races and a frostbite sailor in winter.
He was a member of the U.S. Power Squadron and taught classes for the local chapter. He was also an active member of the Lions Club.
During their marriage the Wessinger’s traveled throughout the world. In 1980 Bruno and Lillian purchased a winter home in Vero Beach. It was then that he began playing tennis. He actively attacked that interest with the same spirit and determination as all his other endeavors.
The Wessinger’s became permanent residents of Vero Beach in 1994. Bruno married Lillian Dejmal on Nov. 30, 1941.
He is survived by his wife, three children, Rickie Ann Canny, Carl Wessinger, and Bruce Wessinger, six grandchildren, Christopher & Ian Wessinger, Adam & Erica Wessinger, and Wesley & Joanna Canny, and two great grandchildren Alexis & McKenzie Wessinger.
The family asks those wishing to make a Memorial contribution do so to the VNA & Hospice Foundation, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. June 1 at Indian River Estates in the main auditorium.
Arrangements are under the direction of Cox-Gifford-Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach. Condolences may be sent through www.seawindsfh.com/obit.php