Mixer Systems founder William Boles, 1927–2014

Sources: Mixer Systems Inc., Pewaukee, Wis.; CP staff

An entrepreneur who built a full service concrete plant equipment business around the most complete line of mixers to bear the Made in America label, William O. Boles died March 25 near his Milwaukee-area home.

A Lexington, Ky., native, Bill Boles reported for Army duty upon graduating from high school in 1946, deploying to occupied Japan for a Signal Corps tour. Upon his return, he attended the University of Kentucky, where his father Stanley coached multiple sports and, as director of Athletics, hired basketball program legend Adolph Rupp.

Bill Boles started his career in Great Lakes territory sales for Reynolds Aluminum Co. A concrete plant equipment tenure that eclipsed 50 years began with one of the industry’s heritage businesses, T.L. Smith Machine, a key player in both mixer trucks and precast-geared plant mixers. After 16 years in equipment sales and marketing—culminating with employer ATO, part of the Figgie International conglomerate—Boles acquired T.L. Smith’s Turbin pan mixer intellectual property in 1979.

Founding Mixer Systems Inc. in Brookfield, Wis., he leveraged the Turbin line, plus the Praschak horizontal shaft mixer technology acquired in 1984, to grow the company into a full batch plant solutions provider. Boles and his engineering team would extend the Turbin and Praschak offerings by developing a) planetary and twin shaft mixers, both model types widely associated with European manufacturers; and, b) a full range of material storage and handling solutions, plus plant controls.

Mirroring the company profile of many customers, he modeled Mixer Systems as a family-owned and operated business. Two of his four children, David Boles and Lesley Hill, remain involved in day-to-day management.