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Frozen Food Pioneer Alfred Schwan Dies at 85


Frozen Food Pioneer Alfred Schwan Dies at 85


Alfred Schwan, the oldest of three Schwan brothers who built Schwan Food Company business from popsicles and ice cream bars into an international frozen food giant, died March 18 at his home in Salina, Kansas. He was 85.

Schwan grew up in Marshall, Minnesota, with his brothers where their father was a foreman for the Marshall Ice Cream Company. He left Marshall in 1943 for service in U.S. Naval Aviation to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot, then returned to join the family business in Marshall.

His role at Schwan's expanded in the late 1960s when he bought a large dairy in Iowa, a plant that produced milk and ice cream. He moved there in 1968 and the plant began producting frizzed sandwiches the following year. Schwan became president, CEO and chairman of the board for Schwan's after his brother, Marvin, died in 1993. He continued to serve on the board years after his retirement until stepping down in 2009 at the age of 83.

"We at The Schwan Food Co., are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Alfred Schwan. Alfred was an iconic, inspirational and charismatic leader who spent more than half of his life contributing to the success of the company," said Greg Flack, Schwan CEO, president and chief operating officer. "He was a caring individual who embodied integrity, optimism and hard work. Alfred will forever remain a role model at The Schwan Food Company. While Alfred was a tremendous leader, he was an equally extraordinary friend. He will be greatly missed."