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Arthur William SCHWALM


1932 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Arthur William SCHWALM Obituary
Age 82 passed away on Sunday June 22, 2014 at his home in Scottsdale AZ with his wife of 60 years, Nancy and sons Dean, Craig, and Daren in attendance. Preceded in death by his sisters Audrey (Schwalm) Endresen, and Dorothea (Schwalm) O'Neill. Survived by his wife Nancy (nee Edgell) , and 3 sons Dean, Craig (Carolyn), Daren (Penny) and grandchildren Daniel Schwalm, Elle Schwalm, James (Malia) Welch, Chris Welch, Michael Schwalm, Takoda Schwalm, Evan Schwalm, Alex Schwalm, and three great grandchildren. Art was born on June 9th, 1932 in St. Paul Minnesota. He graduated from South St. Paul High School in 1950, and the University of Minnesota in 1962. He received some electronics training in the US Navy Air Reserve then went to California and worked twelve hour days, seven days a week maintaining planes for the Flying Tigers during the air lift to Berlin effort and kept up with his Navy reserve commitments. His career began to take shape when he was a technician at 3M. His coworkers at 3M encouraged him to get an engineering degree. One brought an ad for a job at the U of MN Mayo Hospital, and he applied. Bill Kubicek gave him the job as long as he would begin working on his engineering degree. He met his wife Nancy in 1948, and the high school sweethearts were married in 1954. Married and with two children Art graduated with an Engineering degree in 1962. His time at the U of MN and professor/mentor Kubicek were great influences in his life. So much so that he established two merit scholarships in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. He was a member of the University's Presidents Club, Builders Society, and Heritage Society. His medical electronics career began with medical monitoring equipment at the U of MN Mayo and after graduating it continued at GE in the Advanced Medical Projects group. He later worked at Medtronic during its formation years. He was one of the founders of Cardiac Pacemaker Incorporated in 1972, filing and obtaining patents with Jon Anderson in 1973 for cardiac pulse voltage multiplier circuits that operated on lithium power and increased the life of pacemakers up to 11 years. 1 to 2 years was the standard life at the time. He guided CPI, based in Arden Hills MN to become the second largest pacemaker manufacturer in the world before retiring in 1983. From just five founders and two employees through an average growth rate of 15 employees per week for all of 1976, manufacturing plants in the US and Netherlands, Art pushed CPI to record earnings in 1976 & again in 1977. This culminated in CPI's acquisition by Eli Lilly in 1978. He then worked on the board of directors of eight small medical device companies to help guide them in their growth. He was very involved in JCs, Arizona Heart Association, Home Base, the Walker Art Museum, the Guthrie Theater, and the U of MN Alumni. He was always involved in his community, striving to improve it for everyone. Art had a gentle effect that drew people to him. Over the last days of his life coworkers, friends, and neighbors expressed what a wonderful man he was, and how rich their lives were for having known him. With all of his accomplishments, Art looked back and said the best day of his life was his wedding day, May 14th, 1954. A celebration of his life will take place on Saturday August 16th, 2014 at 2PM at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 3131 Campus Drive in Plymouth Minnesota 55441. If you plan to attend, have questions, or need directions please contact Craig or Carolyn Schwalm at ArtSchwalm@USFamily.net or leave a voicemail for Craig 763-464-1329. No gifts please.
Published in Pioneer Press on June 29, 2014
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