In Memoriam: Arne Munsterman
07/30/2013
Munsterman, center, attended ARA’s 50th anniversary Homecoming celebration at ARA’s Moline headquarters in 2005.

Arnett “Arne” Munsterman, 84, died July 7, 2013. Munsterman owned and operated the Wheaton Rental Center, Wheaton, Ill., from 1966 to 1998, expanding the store to multiple locations. He sold the company in 1998 before retiring to Arizona. He had continued to attend The Rental Show after retirement.

He was the American Rental Association’s (ARA) 20th president in 1981, served on the ARA board for several years and was named the ARA Region Five Person of the Year in 1976. He also received the association’s Consumer Education Achievement Award in 1979.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ruth, three sons and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“Arne served as ARA president in our 25th year, a milestone for the association,” said Christine Wehrman, ARA’s executive vice president and CEO.

“During his service on the ARA board of directors, throughout his active leadership and into his retirement, Arne always had great passion for members getting involved in ARA. He took great pride in serving as president the year ARA dedicated the headquarters office in Moline, joining Past President Rich Lanoha and Chairman George Morris in the dedication. Arne and his wife, Ruth, are an important part of the ARA family, and will always be remembered and valued.”

Munsterman joined the association in 1967, about a year after he opened his rental business, and started volunteering in 1971 as program chairperson of the Chicago local, according to a 1981 interview in what was then Rental Age.

He said his major goal was to get every member possible involved in ARA on the local, state or national level. “Every one of us has the obligation to our peers and to the industry to participate in it, to promote it, to propagate it,” he said. “As president, I’ve become a public relations man and a salesman for ARA. The traveling I do is pretty much to ‘sell ARA.’”

In June 2005, Munsterman remembered his executive committee with special appreciation. “When you throw these men together from different parts of the country and they jell, it becomes pretty significant.” He said his year as president “was an enjoyment, an unforgettable experience. I learned a lot about people, as well as the rental industry.”

His family, including son Scott Munsterman and daughter-in-law Lisa Munsterman, own and operate First Place Rental, Oswego and Sandwich, Ill.
 

Arne Munsterman and his wife, Ruth.