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DONALD STROMQUIST

DONALD STROMQUIST Obituary
Donald Martin Stromquist 8/4/1924 ~ 8/27/2009 Donald was born in Rockford, Illinois to Swedish immigrants Edith Lundberg and Martin Gustav Stromquist. He grew up in the Depression with his sister Doris and his brother Dick. While his parents did factory work, he caught crawfish in the Rock River and learned to golf while earning nickels as a caddy. He fondly remembered his first car, a used Plymouth Business Coupe. He completed a Chemical Engineering degree at Marquette University while in Naval ROTC and was elected to Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. He then went to Midshipmen's school at Columbia University and proceeded to command a minesweeper at the end of World War II. After the war Donald worked for Illinois Water Treatment, where he authored several patents relating to water purification. The job brought him to the Layton Sugar Factory, where he met his future wife, Jane Layton. They were married in Layton, on January 31, 1953, and had three children, Don, Eve, and George. Donald's partnership with Jane led to a lifetime of otherwise unimaginable undertakings. Their crowning accomplishment was the commissioning and construction of the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Utah. When they met Mr. Wright to begin the design process, Wright took a look at the young couple, both in their early thirties, and exclaimed, "You're just a couple of kids!" When the contractor ran out of money toward the end of construction, Donald finished the house himself. In 1959 they moved in and lived there happily until 1966 when Donald was transferred to Pittsburgh by US Steel. In 1998 they were able to reacquire the house. Donald's engineering career spanned six decades and chiefly included mining and commercial explosives, but Jane's wish to move back to Utah from Pennsylvania led to a seven-year stint as owners of a Tampico Restaurant in Ogden, Utah. His last patent, for an explosive primer, was granted to him at the age of 68. They began another significant housing adventure by acquiring the Henry Culmer house in Salt Lake City. The restoration of the house and accompanying murals spanned 18 years and thousands of man hours of work on their part. Donald personally dismantled and re-hung every window in that grand Victorian dwelling. Life was not the same after Jane passed away in 1999, but Donald pushed onward with his familiar determination. He occupied the Wright house for a few more years, until his health forced him to move out. The family warmly thanks the many friends and helpers who remained faithful to him during his last years. We would like to extend a special thanks to Beau Chaine and Rich Hancock, of At Home Personal Care. They began as caregivers, but their creativity and selflessness have made them treasured members of our family. Friends may call at Donald's Bountiful house, 1289 Canyon Creek Drive, Monday August 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. Friends are also invited to his funeral service, Tuesday, September 1, at 11 a.m., at Memorial House in Memory Grove, 485 N. Canyon Road, Salt Lake City. Friends may also call at Memorial House from 9:30 to 10:30 that morning. In place of flowers, please consider a donation to Utah Heritage Foundation in his memory. Interment, Kaysville City Cemetery. Funeral directors, Lindquist's Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Road. Condolences may be shared at: www.lindquistmortuary.com

Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Aug. 29 to Aug. 30, 2009
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