Obituaries: Garland and Wilder

August 3, 2000
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Refrigeration pioneer Milt Garland, 104, who was honored in 1998 as “America’s Oldest Worker,” passed away July 27.

In 1920, Mr. Garland started working at Frick Co., Waynesboro, PA, now owned by York International Corp. After his retirement 31 years ago, he continued working for the company as a senior consultant of technical services and as a teacher of refrigeration fundamentals. “They hired him back the next day,” said his wife, Alice.

According to a New York Times report, Mr. Garland used a magnifying glass to read 2,000 patents a week, evaluating their potential refrigeration uses. He put in 20 hrs a week. Mr. Garland himself held 40 refrigeration patents.

“I consider my job a privilege,” he said in a News article. “I never want to stop working because I’m still learning.”

In 1996, Mr. Garland was recognized as being a 50-Year Member of the American Society of Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning and Heating Engineers (ASHRAE). The society also established a Milton W. Garland Refrigeration Award for the best chapter program promoting refrigeration.

James Wilder, who recently stepped down as executive vice president of the Northamerican Heating, Refrigeration & Airconditioning Wholesalers Association (NHRAW), died July 11 as a result of complications from aplastic anemia.

Mr. Wilder, who was exposed to the air conditioning industry through his father Joseph Wilder, came to NHRAW in 1970 following an extensive search.

“Mobilizing a highly flexible committee/council structure,” wrote the association, “he has assured that the association will continue as a grass roots, totally democratic, member-driven organization.”

Mr. Wilder served “with great energy and leadership on the NAW Association Executives Council, and prompted the unselfish exchange of ideas among his peers from other distributor organizations.”

The family has suggested that contributions be made to the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 587, Annapolis, MD 21404-0613, or to a charity of choice.

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