Chaska, Minn. — Bob Strom, the former owner of Olsen Tool & Plastics Inc. in Chaska, died Nov. 4. He was 79.
Strom came to Olsen Tool & Plastics in 1968, four years after Kenneth Olsen founded the company in Hopkins, Minn. Strom slowly started buying into the company and completely took it over when Olsen retired in 1988.
In a 2016 Plastics News feature, he talked about how the company was transitioning to a second generation of family leadership. The story covered how Strom's children, Susan, John and Katherine, all had played roles in the company.
"It's a very satisfying thing to see them mature as businesspeople that are capable of performing at that level," Strom said.
Strom earned a degree in machine tool technology from Dunwoody College of Technology before he joined the Navy. After his discharge he went to work for Olsen Tool & Plastics.
Throughout his career, he helped develop many medical devices including heart pumps, heart valves and instrumentation to install them, according to his obituary in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He was also instrumental in bringing a line of pipe fittings to market.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Arlene, and children Susan, John and Katherine Lambert. Services will be held Nov. 8 at Glory of Christ Lutheran Church in Plymouth, Minn.