HJ-ED-DHJ Obituaries

John Arthur Amend

John Arthur Amend, age 73, of Delano, died Thursday, July 19, 2007 of ALS at his home.

He was born Jan. 22, 1934 to John Arthur Sr. and Bessie (Bortle) Amend in Eau Claire, Wis.

John served a total of 10 years in the military, serving in both the Army and the Air Force. He was a member of the 7406th Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron as a “back-ender,” flying in the C-130s, during the Cold War.

Following his military service, John was an electrical engineer, with most of his career dealing in the field of avionics. He was employed at Rosemount Engineering in Minneapolis, Boeing in Renton, Wash., United Control in Redmond, Wash., Instrument Systems Corporation in Seattle, Wash., and Sundstrand Date Control in Redmond, Wash. While at Sundstrand, John was involved in the development of the wind-shear detection device still used on airplanes today.

In 1976, John conceived of the idea of a universal flight recorder (the “black box”), which later became the most widely used flight recorder in the industry at that time (1991). While in the marketing division of Sundstrand, John visited nearly every airline in the world, selling and demonstrating Sundstrand’s products. He also had his private pilot’s license and loved to fly.

John was preceded in death by his parents; and two sisters, Violet and Nellie.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Jane (Midge Calkins); two daughters, Nena Tuttle of Bay Minette, Ala., and Patricia Betzler (Mike) of Montrose; two sons, Alan Amend of Seattle, Wash., and Herman Amend of Everett, Wash.; two stepsons, Marcus Witte of San Rafael, Calif., and David Witte of Plymouth; 13 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and many friends around the world.

A memorial service took place Sunday, July 29 at 2 p.m. at Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Delano with the Rev. Lee Hallstrom officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the ALS Association/MN Chapter and Ridgeview Hospice.

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