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Steven G. ROTHMEIER


1946 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Steven G. ROTHMEIER Obituary
Passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 14 in Naples, Florida. Born in Mankato, Minnesota in 1946, he was the oldest son of Edwin and Alice Rothmeier. Steve attended Immaculate Conception Elementary School and Bethlehem Academy, both in Faribault, MN. He earned a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame in 1968 where he also played varsity football as a walk-on fullback and linebacker. He is a U.S. Army Veteran who served as a Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps managing a supply depot and graves registration in Tuy Hoa during a tour in Viet Nam. Steve was awarded a Bronze Star for meritorious service in a combat zone. Upon returning stateside, Steve earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Graduate Business School in 1973. After brief employment at General Mills, Inc. Steve joined Northwest Airlines where he began a highly successful career. He moved quickly through a number of positions in budgets and finance to become Vice President Finance and Treasurer, and then Chief Financial Officer. In 1983, he was named President and Chief Operating Officer, and in 1985 he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NWA, Inc. He engineered the $884 million acquisition of Republic Airlines by Northwest in 1986, the largest acquisition in airline history at the time. In 1989, he successfully negotiated the sale of NWA, Inc., the parent company of Northwest Airlines for $3.6 billion. After three years as President of IAI Capital, a venture capital and merchant banking group, Steve formed his own merchant banking, consulting, and investment management company, Great Northern Capital, in 1993. He held the positions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until his retirement in 2012. Steve has served as a Director on the Boards of over a dozen New York Stock Exchange traded corporations including Honeywell, E.W. Blanche Holdings, Department 56, Inc., GenCorp, Alliant Techsystems, Meritor, Waste Management, and Precision Castparts Corp. In 2011, The Wall Street Journal named him as one of the eight most effective directors in all of corporate America. Among his many other activities, Steve served as a Trustee of the University of Chicago, a member of the Council of the Booth Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago, a Director of the American Council on Germany, a Trustee of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a Director of the Center of the American Experiment, an advisor to the Metropolitan Economic Development Association, and Chairman of the U.S. China Business Council. A devout Roman Catholic, Steve was a long time parishioner and supporter of the Church of St. Agnes in St. Paul. Among his many contributions to the parish and to the school he led the effort to establish the St. Agnes Foundation in 1989. He was also a co-founder and a Director of the Lumen Christi Institute in Chicago. Steve was named a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and a Knight of the Order of Malta. He was exceptionally generous with his time, leadership and philanthropic donations to the causes he believed in and loved. Steve is survived by his mother Alice in Minnetonka; brothers Michael (Pamela) in Naples, Florida; and Jay (Barbara) in Edina. He was a loving and devoted uncle to three nephews and two nieces. A Missa Cantata Requiem Mass with Gregorian Chant in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be offered at the Church of St. Agnes, 535 Thomas Avenue in St. Paul at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, May 28. Visitation will be at the Willwerscheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Avenue in St. Paul on Tuesday, May 27 from 4:00-8:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in the memory of Steven G. Rothmeier to either the St. Agnes School Fund, 530 LaFond Aveneue, St. Paul, MN 55103; or to the Lumen Christi Institute, c/o Martin Salvucci, Director of Development, 1220 E. 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637.
Published in Pioneer Press from May 23 to May 25, 2014
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