Wurtele, 83, died Sunday Septerber 10 2017 in hospice care of Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare skin cancer.
His family gave generously to such cultural institutions as the Guthrie Theater and the Walker Art Center, helping to lead their substantial expansions. The Wurteles also gave to Yale University, his alma mater, where a sculpture garden and a graduate teacher program are named in their honor.
Angus and Margaret's largest gift was in 2015 to the Walker Art Center; the Walker said it was the largest gift in its history. Other gifts to the Walker preceded and followed that, as well as gifts to the Guthrie, the Loft Literary Center, Minnesota Public Radio, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and more.
When he became president of Minnesota Paints Inc. in 1962, it was a $7 million family-owned specialty coatings company. He became president and CEO in 1965.
Through acquisitions and exponential growth, he built the company into Valspar, a Fortune 500 concern from which he retired as president and CEO in 1998. The company was acquired by Sherwin-Williams for $11.3 billion in cash in a deal that closed in June 2017.
A Minneapolis native, Wurtele was the last of five children, and only boy, born to a businessman and his wife. He used his middle name, Angus, to distinguish himself from the uncle after whom he was named. He played hockey at the Blake School, from which he graduated in 1952.
At Yale, Wurtele immersed himself in American studies. After college, he became an officer in the U.S. Navy, serving a two-year tour in the Philippines. He earned an MBA from Stanford University before joining Minnesota Paints.
He stepped down as CEO of Valspar in 1995 and as chairman in 1998. After Valspar, he dedicated his life full time to the Terra Valentine winery in California’s Napa Valley.
In addition to his wife, Margaret, he is survived by sons Christopher and Andrew; a daughter, Heidi Castelein; sisters Mary Vaughan, Joan Wurtele and Connie Packard; his ex-wife, Heather Campbell, and two granddaughters.more » « less