Alumni In Memoriam: Eric E. Aanenson

After graduating from the University, Eric went on to become a laser researcher in the missile division at Lockheed Industries based in San Francisco. During that time, Eric dedicated himself to furthering his education, graduating with an MBA in the early 1970s from Santa Clara State University. He soon became Operations Manager for Liquid Air (US Division). In 1974, Eric chose to return to Minnesota, joining his family-owned company, Old Dutch Foods, the second largest snack food company in North America, to work in plant operations. He quickly advanced to Chief Operating Officer and Co-Chair of Old Dutch in Canada. In 1998 Eric advanced to become Chief Operating Officer for the United States as well. Eric added to his credentials by actively volunteering in his field's professional associations throughout his career. This commitment to advancing the snack food industry culminated in his serving as Chairman of the Canadian Snack Food Association for two years during the late 1970s. Never a deep sea fisherman, but always the true physicist, Eric invented a unique deep sea fishing lure for which he held three patents. This lure was tested and proven successful numerous times, but most proudly by catching an 800 pound Yellowfin Tuna while it was in use. Along with an extremely active professional career, Eric held a close relationship with both of his parents. He greatly enjoyed annual hunting and fishing trips with his father into the wilds of Canada from a young age through his adulthood. His mother introduced Eric to the classical musical arts. After going to his first opera production, Eric developed a lifelong passion for grand opera, annually providing financial support to numerous arts organizations including the Metropolitan Opera and the Minnesota Opera. He brought the first fully produced opera performance to the Island of Maui in Hawaii. A car accident which claimed three of his fingers ended an early dream  to become a concert pianist. He learned to rewrite piano master works to be played with only seven fingers. He enjoyed being an exceptional pianist throughout his life. Those listening to his performances would rarely recognize that he was mentally making alterations to the notes as he played to compensate for his disability. He is survived by his wife Tracy; son Chad (Carmen) Aanenson; son Marc (Cindy) Aanenson; stepson Matthew Wolfe Santori; stepdaughter Maria (Cole Santos) Wolfe. In addition, Eric had 10 grandchildren and his brother Steve (Beverly) Aanenson and his only niece.