Fred G. Dohrmann, 80, who rose through the ranks to become president, CEO and chairman of Winnebago Industries Inc. in Forest City, Iowa, died Sept. 6, at his home in Sun City, Ariz. He retired from Winnebago in 1998.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reported that prior to his career at Winnebago, Dohrmann had experience in real estate, restaurant ownership, automobile sales, plumbing and heating sales and as manager of a clothing store.
He started at Winnebago in 1974 as a production worker in the housing division where he eventually became division manager. Dohrmann worked his way up to become manager of real estate and then moved into his executive positions.
He was born April 17, 1932, in Latimer, Iowa, and graduated from Latimer High School. He attended Iowa State University, the American Institute of Business and Des Moines Area Community College with a major in real estate.
He was employed by Ideal Motors in Hampton and Sheffield, Kurtz Company, St. Paul Clothing and Snyder Pappajohn and Birdes Inc., all in Mason City, before joining Winnebago Industries in 1974.
He was married to Lois Freie on Sept. 19, 1951. Survivors include his wife and children, James Dohrmann of Ames and Jill Popejoy of Phoenix, Ariz.; and eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Georgia Dohrmann, and children Joette Dohrmann Ditch and Jeanine Dohrmann Nedved.
At one time, Dohrmann and his wife owned the former Clear Lake Bakery property. They donated the retail building and a warehouse to the city for possible future development in 2001.
In a 1998 Globe Gazette story on his retirement, Dohrmann summed up his business philosophy: “You don’t just satisfy the customer; you delight him.”