Charles Sears, the president of DRI-AIR Industries passed away on August 5th after a recent battle with cancer. He started Dri-Air Industries, Inc. in 1985 and it quickly became a leading supplier of drying systems for the plastics industry. His expertise and leadership along with his desire to create the very best possible product for his customers resulted in double-digit growth each year. He was a noted authority on the science of drying technology and applications and held several patents. Prior to founding Dri-Air, Charlie held senior positions within plastics industry companies such as Polymer Machinery, Automated Assemblies and Nelmor (AEC). Charlie received his BSME from Northeastern University and MME from RPI and had well over 40 years of experience in the design and manufacturing of drying systems.
Dri-Air is a family owned and operated business with his wife Esther managing the accounting and son Jason, who has been with the company 27 years, managing the company operations. The company has 27 employees.
Dri-Air customers and suppliers alike also represented a family to Charlie. Customers were not just a sale, but to Charlie they represented a relationship that you have to earn and respect.
Charlie was never afraid to take on any challenges. In 1967, at the tender age of 26 he moved to Hong Kong with his new wife Esther to start up a manufacturing facility. After 3 successful years he came back to the states and entered the plastics industry. At age 78 Charlie had no plans for any formal retirement – he and his company were inseparable. He loved what he did and always said ‘there are just too many things I want to do here at the company’.
Charlie is survived by his wife Esther, daughter Wendy O’Seep and husband Greg and their two children Austin and Carolyn, son Jason and wife Rebecca along with their two sons Caleb and Josh. He also leaves his Dri-Air family of employees. Services are being held Monday, August 13, at South Congregational Church of Granby, 242 Salmon Brook St, Granby, CT 06035. The Service will be held at 11 am with the reception to directly follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer to see donations in honor of Charlie to support the next generation of Plastics Engineers through scholarship support at UMass Lowell in his name or to support the Syracuse Plastics Collection at the University Library.
Please mail donations made out to “The UMass Lowell Plastics Scholarship Fund” to Gail Sheehy, UMass Lowell, Plastics Engineering Department, One University Ave, Lowell, MA 01854
For additional information and other ways to make a donation in honor of Charlie at UMass Lowell, please contact Sally_washburn@uml.edu 781-861-9486.
Make a check payable to:
“Syracuse University Libraries” with the words “Plastics Collection” in the memo line of the check.
Our address is: Syracuse University Libraries, Attn: Bianca Breed, 222 Waverly Ave., Syracuse, NY 13244
People can also make a gift online to the Plastics collection at: GiveToSULibraries.syr.edu
Then choose “SU Libraries Dean’s Fund” and check the box for “My Gift is a Tribute” “ In memory of” and write in Charlie’s name.