Victor J. Baxt, a Key Figure in Transforming Teknor Apex into a Leading Polymer Company, Dies at 95
PAWTUCKET, RI, U.S.A. — Victor J. Baxt, who played an important role in the development of Teknor Apex Company into one of the world’s leading custom compounders of plastics, died on October 7 at the age of 95.
The chairman of Teknor Apex at the time of his death, Mr. Baxt was esteemed in his native Rhode Island as a philanthropist and civic leader.
In 1946, Victor Baxt joined the company that would become Teknor Apex as a college friend of Norman M. Fain, the son of Alfred A. Fain, who founded the business in 1924. The company started production of its first plastics products—vinyl compounds—in 1949. In the decades to follow, Norman Fain, Victor Baxt, and Herbert Malin, who joined in 1956, were partners in leading the transformation of the company from a business focused on the tire and rubber market to a diversified plastics enterprise.
Mr. Baxt worked at Teknor Apex for 66 years, until shortly before his death. After serving as president and vice chairman, he became chairman upon the death of Norman Fain in 2003. Norman Fain’s son, Jonathan D. Fain, joined Teknor Apex in 1972 and is now president and CEO. Still privately held, the company employs 2,000 people, operates plants in five countries, and sells to customers around the world.
Victor Baxt served on the board of trustees of Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI and on many committees for that institution; he was honored as the hospital’s Person of the Year in 2006. A longtime supporter of the University of Rhode Island (URI), he established an endowed scholarship for undergraduate students of chemistry and chemical engineering, founded the Victor Baxt Chair in Polymer Engineering, and supported construction of new facilities at the university, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2011. He was an active member of the Jewish community in Providence, serving on the boards of a number of organizations.
A chemist, Mr. Baxt received his BS degree from URI and an MS degree from Duke University.
Victor Baxt is survived by his wife Gussie, two sons, three grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.