In Memoriam

It is with sadness that TCATA reports on the passing of the following members in our industry:

Roger Kenneth McMillan, owner of Colmac Industries and industry innovator died December 28, 2023 in Spokane, Washington. He was born January 7, 1942 in Missoula, Montana to the late Jerry and Gwen McMillan. He spent his early childhood in Spokane, until the family's cleaner business relocated to Colville. Shortly thereafter his father Jerry invented specialized laundry machines and started the Colmac business while Roger then graduated from Colville High School in 1960.Roger met his wife Dee at Washington State University where he earned a Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1966. He then spent two years in the US Army as a 2nd and 1st Lieutenant in the Ordinance Corps stationed at Ft Dix, NJ. Roger and Dee returned to Colville after the Army, with Roger working in engineering and product development at Colmac Industries in 1969 until Jerry’s sudden passing in 1974, then running the company until 2002 and retiring in 2005, along the way building the second Colmac business, Colmac Coil Manufacturing.

Former TCATA President William W. "Bill" Luse, age 95 of Marion, Ohio passed away at his home on Friday, February 24, 2023. Bill served on the TCATA Board of Directors in the late 1960’s and started his term as TCATA President in 1971. Bill was born August 7, 1927, in Springfield, OH. He attended The Ohio State University. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy during World War II. On August 14, 1949, he was united in marriage to Donna Ruth Clark. Bill was the owner and operator of Half Hour Laundry, Marion County’s first Laundry Mat. He and his father ran the family business, Marlyn Chemical Co., Inc., manufacturing and selling commercial laundry and dry-cleaning supplies throughout the U.S. and Canada. Bill is survived by his children: William C. (Linda) Luse, Barry (Janet) Luse, Bunny (Jeff) Britton, and Brian (Teresa) Luse; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and his dear companion Judy Roberts. If so desired, donations may be made to the Sarah Jean Luse Foundation, c/o Sandusky County Communities Foundation, 1245 Napoleon Street, Fremont, OH 43420.

Gurtler Industries of South Holland, IL shared that their long time employee Alan Gordon recently passed away. Alan was a long-time veteran of the laundry chemical industry and joined Gurtler Industries in 1999 as the Senior Vice President of Corporate Accounts. Alan retired from Gurtler in 2022. Alan's dedication and drive made him very successful. Alan is survived by his wife of 56 years, children, grandchildren, and a great granddaughter. He will be greatly missed by the entire Gurtler Industries Family.

Kannegiesser ETECH of Minneapolis, MN reports that Les Ekola, founder of E-Tech Systems, died on December 15, 2022 at the age of 88. After earning his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1958, he was promoted to engineer and later to engineering manager. In 1970 he left American Linen to start Ekola Engineering with his wife Beverly. The company was later renamed E-Tech Systems. Ekola saw a need for efficient, powerful material handling systems, and at Ekola Engineering, they developed the first track systems to automate laundry logistics, storage and washer loading. In 2017, Kannegiesser USA purchased E-Tech to form Kannegiesser ETECH. He is survived by his wife, siblings, children and grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Urban Homeworks which provides quality and affordable housing to Twin Cities' residents ( or the Alzheimer's Association (

Paul "Oz" Osterhage, co-founder of Fabritec International, passed away at the age of 71 on January 1, 2023, following a battle with esophageal cancer. "Paul started with my dad, Al Jordan, in founding Fabritec in 1977," noted John "J.J." Jordan, President of Fabritec International. Osterhage was a graduate of the University of Cinncinati and remained a lifelong diehard fan of his alma mater, as well as the NFL Bengals and MLB Reds. Jordan added, "Many of our customers knew Paul from seminars, conventions and customer relations. We have been preparing for any complications but he is still someone not easy to replace." Osterhage is survived by his wife, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and his siblings. Memorials may be made to the St. Leo's Food Pantry c/o St. Leo the Great Church, 2573 St. Leo Place, Cinncinati, OH 45225.

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