Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Donald Nyrop

A legend died yesterday, November 16, 2010

Donald Nyrop at Mal Freeburg Day, flanked by Fay Kulenkamp, retired F/A, and
Bill Marchessault, current F/A; both dressed in vintage NWA uniforms

We think this was the last public appearance Mr. Nyrop made. The occasion was Mal Freeburg Day, June 24, 2010, sponsored by the City of Richfield. Mal Freeburg was an early pilot for Northwest Airlines and he lived in Richfield, MN, serving as its mayor in the 1940s.

Mr. Nyrop led Northwest Airlines as its C.E.O. in the 1950s, when I was working for NWA. He was often on my flights to Washington D.C. or New York City, and usually rode in a jump seat on the flight deck. He was always cordial and a gentlemen. Many stories abound, which will be shared here and in the NWA History Centre newsletter Reflections, due out in December.
The singular achievement people remember about Donald Nyrop was that he ran a tight ship, financially. In those days Northwest was profitable, had no debt and no subsidies. He bought airplanes on a handshake and paid for them with cash.
We are greatly saddened by the news. It is truly the passing of an era.
Services for Mr. Nyrop are pending.


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