HOWES CAVE – The entrepreneur who founded Kintz Plastics and grew it into one of the largest employers in Shohri County has died.
Edwin Harry Kintz, 81, had been in poor health for several years. He died Wednesday at Albany Medical Center, his son Allen said.
Wynn Kintz, as he was widely known, was born in Flushing, but grew up in Shohri, after his father, Harry Kintz, moved the family north and founded Harva’s, a plastics manufacturer, in 1949.
After earning a college degree in Kentucky and serving as a supply officer on a naval ship in the Mediterranean, Wynn returned home and became the work of his life – plastics, first with Harva and then in 1976, on his own. But striking.
Allen said the first Kintz plastics factory was a 500-square-foot former gas station. The pumps were still in operation, and Wynn would regularly use them for his vehicle.
Wynn moved to Niskune to support his family, but commuted daily. Allen recalls that his father had one of the oldest anime, a giant device that was mounted on the floor of his car. Alan accompanied them on the Shohri County ride with some frequency, and remembers hearing his father working that phone all the way.
This was Allen’s first education in a business that he later joined, left, and eventually rejoined when Wynn began to falter.
“When I was a kid, he would take me to the plant when my mom had something to do,” Allen said on Friday. “I just grew up being hired and that was my playhouse for many years.
“Always on the phone,” Allen said. “It was nonstop, it was 24/7. He was always working and fighting to make his company a success.
That was from Monday to Friday.
“He worked very hard but he was at home for the weekend,” Allen recalled. “The weekend was family time, and we used to travel all the time.”
Previously it was a trip to the Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown. Later, when there was more money, there were cruises and trips to hot spots.
Wynn also had some hobbies.
“His passion apart from the factory was two things: boxing and he was an avid collector of political America,” Allen said.
Wynn was New York State’s ringside boxing judge for many years, including Mike Tyson’s first six professional bouts. Allen said his expertise in US presidential history was widely known, as was his collection of related almanacs and memorabilia.
Wynn started his company primarily as a machining shop.
“Most of the original workers, and some still are, were locals on farms or were coming out of the GE Machinist program,” Allen said.
He remembers a small crew of men working classic Bridgeport milling machines balancing their ashtrays on top as they rolled out Kintz products.
Kintz Plastics later transitioned to thermoforming plastic products, which remains its business today. It also accumulated debt as Wynn’s health deteriorated, leading Allen to arrange a sale in 2018 to Universal Plastics Group of Holyoke Massachusetts.
By the time of the sale, the 500-square-foot, 1976 four-man operation had grown to 86 people working in the 80,000-square-foot.
Like Kintz Plastics, Universal is a family operation. Allen now works in sales for it.
The place where Wynn got her start, Harva, remains in operation in Schohari, with Wynn’s sister and niece running the business.
Wynn is survived by his sons Alan and Aaron; his daughter, Robin; his sisters Susan McGyver, Judy Dellin and Virginia Lee Kintz; and his grandson, Julian Kintz.
A graveside funeral service is scheduled for Monday at 1 p.m. at Lutheran Cemetery in Shohri.
Shohri’s Langan Funeral Home and Robert A. Guffin is assisting with Funeral Home of Cobbleskill arrangements.
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: Business, Fulton Montgomery Shohri, News