In 1949, Mr. Schjeldahl
, established a business in Minneapolis making polyethylene bags.He
designed a machine that simultaneously cut and sealed plastic film with a hot blade.He sold the business in 1954 and, in 1955, founded G.T. Schjeldahl Co. in Northfield, Minn., which used mylar to produce atmospheric balloons.
In August 1960, Echo I, a 100-foot-diameter passive satellite he
designed and built for NASA
, was launched from Cape Canaveral, which eventually made possible the first coast-to-coast television transmission.He
later founded three more companies in the Minneapolis areas.Mr. Schjeldahl received an honorary doctorate of science degree from North Dakota State University in 1970 and an honorary doctorate of engineering degree from the University of North Dakota in 1993.He
also received the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame Award in 1986 and the North Dakota Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Award in 1989.While in Minneapolis, he served on the boards of the Walker Art Center, Lutheran Deaconess Hospital and the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church.He was a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers and was active in the Midwest Coalition for Democracy in Central America.He
wife, the former Mary Charlene Hanson, were married Oct. 5, 1940.
leaves two sons, Peter C. Schjeldahl of New York City and Don C. Schjeldahl of Kent, Ohio; three daughters, Anne C. Morris of Bovina, N.Y., Peggy C. Schjeldahl of Lenox and Mary C. Schjeldahl of Worthington; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Saturday, March 16, at 1 a.m. at Roche Funeral Home.
Burial will be at the convenience of the family in North Dakota.