Jergen R. "Jug" Aarthun, a retired vice president of Treu House of Munch Inc., the beer distributor his father-in-law co-founded, died Friday in the Severn, Md., home of his daughter Julie, where he lived the last four years. He was 91.
He learned in February that he had kidney disease. "He was playing tennis in January," his daughter said.
Mr. Aarthun, formerly of Perrysburg Township, was 65 when he retired.
He was a Marine Corps veteran of World War II and selling pots and pans in Moorhead, Minn., when Max R.H. Treu, his wife Katherine's father, asked him to join Treu House of Munch. The company was formed in 1934 after John Stroh of the Detroit brewery introduced Mr. Treu, a Saginaw, Mich., beer distributor, to Leo Munch of Toledo, whose father, Joseph, opened a Toledo department store and wholesale beer and wine business in 1875.
He was sales supervisor as the firm moved from Dorr Street to High Street in Toledo. It later moved to Northwood.
"He knew a little about sales," his daughter said. "He learned the business right there from the bottom up."
As he advanced, he oversaw operations.
"He got there at 5:30 in the morning and opened everything up and got the drivers out," daughter Jane said. "He was a classic greatest-generation guy. When he had a job, he appreciated it. It provided for his family. He poured his heart into it."
Mr. Treu died in 1972, and his son, Russ, became president. Russ Treu retired in 1984 and sold his share of the business. Mr. Munch died in 1974. Richard Esser, a protege of Mr. Munch's who began as a driver-salesman, became an owner and chairman. Mr. Esser's son, Rich, currently is chairman.
Mr. Aarthun was a former member of the Perrysburg Lions Club. The family was active in their subdivision, Crandenbrook -- "a classic Norman Rockwell neighborhood," daughter Jane said, where he gave the neighborhood children tennis lessons and turned a vacant lot into a skating rink.
He was a former member of First United Methodist Church in Perrysburg.
In retirement, the couple lived in Sarasota, Fla., Houston, and Laguna Woods, Calif.
He was born March 17, 1917, in Walnut Grove, Minn., to Sarah and Lauritz Aarthun. At Tracy, Minn., High School, he was captain of the basketball team, a state championship contender. In the Marine Corps, he served in the Okinawa campaign.
He was private pilot who had his own plane in the early 1960s and played golf.
He and Katherine married Feb. 17, 1943. She died April 13, 2011.
Surviving are his sons, Steven and Jeffrey Aarthun; daughters, Julie Black and Jane Pifer; five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Glen Burnie, Md., where he was a member.
The family suggests tributes to the church endowment fund.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: email@example.com or 419-724-6182.