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Gust Goettl

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Gust Goettl, 93, Sheet Metal Pioneer, Inventor, and Businessman, died on November 24, 9 days before his 94th birthday, in Phoenix, Arizona. Gust Goettl was the fifth of 17 children born to Louise Wilging and Philip Goettl. He was born on December 3, 1910, in Austria Hungary, and immigrated with his family to Mansfield, Ohio, in 1913. Gust is survived by his wife, Magdalene Keipp Goettl. Gust and Mag first met during their school years in a one-room schoolhouse in Mansfield, Ohio. They married on June 10, 1933 in Ohio, and later headed west and settled in Arizona. The Goettls recently celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary. Gust Goettl was a master of improvement. The critical eye he had developed since creating his childhood inventions was the key to his success in the sheet metal and evaporative cooler industry. Gust did not invent the evaporative cooler, he kept improving it. While coolers had been produced and were already being sold at the time he arrived on the scene, Gust produced new designs, like the "Semi-Circle Cooler" and the "Hex Cooler", which were widely marketed. In 1939 Gust and his brother Adam founded Goettl Brothers Metal Products Company, which became the nation's largest air conditioning contractor. The two brothers went on to found International Metal Products Company, where they followed their dream of utilizing the assembly line and mass production to manufacture coolers that were less expensive than the competitions', making their product available to the masses. International Metal Products Company became the world's largest producer of evaporative coolers. By the time Gust retired in 1960, he was the president of Metalaire Products Company, the owner of Goettl Industries, Plant Manager and owner of International Metal Products in Phoenix, International Metal Products Sales Company, International Metal Product de Mexico, S.A., Air Conditioning Supply Co., and Continental Manufacturing Company. Gust enjoyed many years of traveling, fishing, hunting, golfing and camping, and he became the 54th person in the state of Arizona to earn the Arizona Wildlife Sportsmen Big 10 award. Gust was an active member of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church where he served as the Chairman of Construction overseeing the ground breaking of the new church, and in 1959 he was named Churchman Cum Laude. Of all the community work in which Gust was involved, the Lighthouse Mission was the most rewarding, and in 1967 he received the Outstanding Service award. Gust was a member of the Phoenix Exchange Club since 1969, and he helped organize fund-raising for charities, and most recently helped support an organization that searches for missing children. In 1996, Gust Goettl was inducted into the Arizona Business Hall of Fame, and honored as both a businessman and as an inventor. Gust was also honored in the Arizona Edition of the American Biographical Encyclopedia as one prominent personality among many Arizonans, and was recognized as contributing to a heritage for future generations. He will be deeply missed and always remembered by his family, colleagues, and friends. Gust Goettl, the last survivor of the original Goettl family, is preceded in death by his daughter Loretta Leoni and grandson, Jeff Odell. He is survived by his wife, Magdalene, daughters Janet Kelly of Phoenix, Ariz., Loraine Anderson of Scottsdale, Ariz., Joyce Angello of Hayfork, Calif; his grandchildren Bill Odell, Greg Odell, Scott Odell, Jim Kelly, Jay Kelly, Eric Leoni, and Paula Leoni-Bacchus and 11 great grand children. Visitation will be from 5-8 PM Monday at Green Acres, 401 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale. Services will be held on Tuesday, November 30, 11:00 A.M. at
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 1500 W. Maryland. Burial will follow the reception at the church. The family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers at Hospice of Arizona for their kindness and respect. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his memory to the charity of your choice.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Nov. 28, 2004
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