ARTHUR W., JR., 88
Arthur Saarinen, 88, died peacefully on May 18, 2016, at Oak Hammock at the University of Florida. Arthur, whose ancestral home was Alachua County, was proud to be a native Floridian and a loyal Gator. After serving in the U.S. Army in 1945-47 during the occupation of Japan, he graduated from the University of Florida in 1950 with a BSCE in Civil Engineering.
He became a nationally prominent environmental engineer, president of the Florida firm Ross Saarinen Bolton & Wilder and, after a 1974 merger, Senior Vice President of Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc. During his career, he served as president of the Florida Engineering Society, the Florida Water Pollution Control Association and the international Water Environment Federation.
Arthur was an active conservationist, speaking out on water and land use issues. He loved to fish, canoe Florida's rivers, bird watch and hike in the mountains. An Eagle Scout in his teens, he was a scout leader during the 1960s and a member of the BSA South Florida Council in the 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s he served on the UF College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Committee, and the boards of 1000 Friends of Florida and the Florida Nature Conservancy. After retiring professionally and returning to Alachua County, he was invited to teach in the UF Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences. He also served for 8 years on the Alachua County Planning and Zoning Commission and the board of the Alachua Conservation Trust.
His fondest accomplishment was to be recognized as a University of Florida Outstanding Alumnus in 2001.
In addition to extensive international travel for his career, during retirement Arthur and his wife explored the world from Iceland to Antarctica, South Africa to Alaska.
Arthur was predeceased by his daughter, Linda Jane, and is survived by his brother, James Saarinen, his wife Phyllis Park Saarinen, his children Mary Louise Lowrie and Justin Saarinen, step-children Heather and Garrett Weiner, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Arthur was proud of his family and their many accomplishments.
Arthur will be greatly missed and remembered with love by all who knew him. A private gathering will be held at a future date at Oak Hammock. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Alachua Conservation Trust or to the Florida Nature Conservancy.
Published by Gainesville Sun from May 22 to May 23, 2016.