Niels Arthur Chew, 82, passed away peacefully in his home with his family by his side on Monday, February 25, 2013. Born a twin (Nancy Chew Smith) in New York City on April 12, 1930 to Arthur and Esther Chew, Niels was preceded in death by his brother, Ralph Holten Chew. Niels spent his childhood in Scarsdale, New York, followed by a year at Dartmouth College. Restless and adventuresome as always, he joined the Norwegian Merchant Marines and worked on freighters in the North Atlantic, followed by a year at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Niels then went to work with his father in the food export business in New York City, where he met his wife of 58 years, Susan Wetherby Chew. Married in 1955 in Orange, Connecticut, Susan and Niels lived in New York until Niels' business brought the family to San Mateo, California in 1963. Ever the entrepreneur, Niels ventured out on his own in 1968 to purchase Miner Tool Company, the foundation of what became Dowling Miner Magnetics Corporation. In 1973, Niels and Susan settled in the Sonoma Valley with their family, where they have spent forty years building his business and working passionately to support numerous local charities and non-profit organizations. A consummate philanthropist, Niels took an enormous amount of pleasure in making a difference. Niels' legacy lies in the greatness of his generosity, the depth of his kindness and his unwavering commitment to volunteerism. Ultimately, his greatest joy was his family, his friends and his community. In addition to his wife, Susan, Niels is survived by his four children, Gordon Wetherby Chew (Anne), Lisa Chew Rossi (Peter), Jennifer Chew Ord (Eric), Andrew Edward Chew (JoAnn), and nine wonderful grandchildren, Nicholas (Gina), Tyler (Amy), Emily, Sterling, Spencer, Meryl, Shelby, Alexander and Hannah. Niels was loved by so many, and will be missed by all. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Stand By Me Mentoring Center of Sonoma, or Sonoma Valley Teen Services.
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Mar. 1 to Mar. 4, 2013