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[05/21/2003] Moser co-founders, plant manager die in plane crash

Portland, Indiana - Greg and Marianne Moser and Jeff and Eileen Bickel were killed late Friday afternoon when the single-prop four-passenger airplane they were traveling in crashed outside of Allendale, South Carolina.

Greg and Marianne Moser, co-founders of Moser Engineering located in Portland, Indiana, along with Jeff Bickel, plant manager at the same company, and his wife Eileen were headed to Beaufort, South Carolina from the Portland Municipal Airport in Portland, Indiana when the plane crashed. The cause of the accident is undetermined at this time.

Greg Moser, 50, was the founder and president of Moser Engineering, a manufacturer of hi-performance racing components, located in Portland, Indiana. The long-time drag racer and axle manufucturer started his business with his wife, Marianne H., 49, in 1982.

The Moser''s revolutionized the axle industry with the development of a streamlined manufacturing process that shortened the standard 4 to 6 week turnaround time to just two days. Moser Engineering, which originated in the Moser''s garage, is now one of the leading aftermarket axle manufacturers in the United States.

Both of the Mosers were heavily involved in local philanthropic organizations. Mr. Moser was past and current president of many local organizations, including the Jay County Development Board (JCDC), the local chapter of the United Way, the local Rotary, and sat on many boards, as well.

Jeff Bickel, 48, also of Portland, Indiana was the plant manager of Moser Engineering and worked with the company since 1990. Bickel was one of the catalysts in developing the innovative manufacturing process and instrumental in the success of the company. Lifelong Portland resident Eileen Bickel, 46, along with her husband, were members of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of Portland.

"We''re deeply saddened for the loss of Greg, Marianne, Jeff and Eileen," Moser Engineering sales director Jon Bennett said. "Their leadership, kindness, and generosity shown towards their employees, community, and countless others can never be replaced. Our sympathy and prayers are with both families."

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