Minnesota native had original patents and sprawling business resume
Electrical Apparatus is saddened to learn of the passing of Robert 'Bob' Bozich, a highly influential member of the electromechanical industry and beyond, as well as a longtime EA subscriber. Mr. Bozich died November 1 having just turned 81 years old. His legacy is well recorded, due to his sprawling business resume, imprint on the states of Minnesota, Michigan and Massachusetts, and specific achievements such as his own patents and his entrepreneurial work ethic.
His first position at the Raytheon Corp. in 1964, as a design engineer of anti-missle missles, made him the youngest staff engineer at the time. At Malton Electric in his home state of Minnesota, he took over the company at 35 and added a distinctive branch for equipment that included a patented line of switchgear products and original padmount enclosures. Notably, Bob purchased his own Cessna plane with money made from the original businesses and used it to fly himself around the country for work.
Lastly, Bob's legacy was highlighted by his philanthrophic efforts. He was involved as either a resident or board member in the local school system, the church, and a number of associations. Crucially, Bob used his airplane to fly doctors all over rural Minnesota and Wisconsin for the Duluth Clinic Outreach Program. He even purchased a King Air, which he equipped as a hospital plane for St. Mary’s of Duluth.
Electrical Apparatus would like to send our condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, and co-workers of Mr. Bozich. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time. The following is a full obituary published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on November 8th, which also appears on the Baumann Family Funeral Homes website with a date of November 1st.
Robert (Bob) Bozich passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 1, 2023, at the Seasons Hospice in Rochester, MN. He was diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic on October 12th with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He died suddenly after being in hospice for only two days.
Bob was born in Virginia, MN on October 25, 1942, to Anton J. Bozich and Margaret L. Bozich. He resided in Eveleth all throughout his school years and graduated from Eveleth High School, Class of 1960. He went on to Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI and graduated with honors in 1964 with a BS in Electrical Engineering. His first professional position was with the Raytheon Corp. in Wayland, MA as a design engineer of anti-missile missiles. He was promoted and was at that time the youngest staff engineer. He then took a position with Digital Equipment Corp in Massachusetts and attended night school at Boston University for four years, receiving his MBA degree in 1971.
Bob married Jean Holderried on May 8, 1965, at St. Pius X Church in Boston, MA. They made their first home in Watertown, MA and then purchased a home in Newton, MA. They were fortunate to have twins, Brad and Barbara, born in Newton, MA on November 14, 1970. Bob returned to Eveleth with his young family in 1971 to work for Malton Electric Co. in Virginia, MN, a company his father founded.
When his father built a new facility in Eveleth called Malton Equipment to manufacture high voltage switchgear, he appointed Bob as General Manager. He kept his original position in electrical contracting as well. He became president of Malton Electric at the age of 35 before the death of his father. He completed two joint venture contracts in the Construction Division with Blandin Paper Co. in Grand Rapids and Minnesota Power.
In January of 1986, Bob and his partner, brother Jim Bozich, agreed that Bob would retain the motor repair and sales part of the company as well as the fabrication and switchgear company, Malton Equipment, in Eveleth. A year later, Bob purchased a 421 Cessna that he hangared at the Eveleth-Virginia Airport. He hired a pilot to fly him all over the country, selling his growing lines of co-op utility products. He was continually adding products to the line which he patented.
In 1990, Bob purchased a large manufacturing plant in Fridley, MN where he eventually manufactured the large and more complicated products as well as railroad crossing metal buildings. He continued manufacturing the original padmount small enclosures in Eveleth. He hired his son, Brad, as General Manager of Malton Equipment Co. Brad held that position until Bob sold that division to ABB of Zurich, Switzerland. Brad worked for Malton for years and then worked for ABB.
In the meantime, Bob used his airplane to fly doctors all over rural Minnesota and Wisconsin for the Duluth Clinic Outreach Program. He then purchased a King Aire, which he equipped as a hospital plane for St. Mary’s of Duluth.
In the mid 1990’s, he had an opportunity to purchase the old Mather A Mine Building in Ishpeming, MI to expand to a full motor repair facility and sales center for the Tilden and Empire mines as well as other customers that use large electric motors, sometimes needing an 18-wheeler to transport the motors. It took a lot of work to transform the building and equipment into the facility that it is today. He had to completely pressure wash and paint it as well as build a road to the highway, not knowing how much rock had to be blasted out, and get a railroad crossing approval. In the end, he persevered and got the job done by flying himself and employees to the Michigan facility to personally oversee the project. It took almost two years to become totally operational, though he was always home for dinner at 6 o’clock because he was able to fly into the Eveleth-Virginia Airport.
In 2005, he sold the 421 Cessna after the crash of Senator Wellstone’s plane. He purchased a 42-foot Country Coach motorhome which he drove himself with a matching car he towed. He last drove it to Duluth for a checkup on October 3rd by himself and in between the checkup got his teeth cleaned. He was prepared to leave for his and Jean’s annual trek to Florida on October 20th to their property on Sanibel Island that they owned for 43 years. He spent last year having their home remediated and repainted from the damage from Hurricane Ian. Due to Bob’s insistence, he and Jean just picked out the outside paint for the home on October 24th.
Bob strongly believed in everyone having the opportunity for an excellent education through the public school system. When the Iron Range population started to diminish in the mid 1980’s, Bob became very involved in a movement that would combine the high schools of Eveleth, Gilbert, Virginia, and Mt. Iron to afford high schoolers a greater selection of courses available to them. He was very pleased when the Rock Ridge School opened its doors.
Bob was a member of the Resurrection Church in Eveleth since 1971. Bob was a member of the Iron Mining Association and an original board member who served many terms; a member and past president of the Virginia Rotary Club; a member of the Virginia Gun and Rifle club since 1980; and a lifetime member of the NRA. He was a member of the Eshquagama County Club since 1974 and the Kitchi Gammi Club since 1980. He was also a three-term president of the Gulfside Condo Assn. and a board member for six terms; a member of the Beachview Estates Homeowners Assn. for 17 year;, a member of the Royal Palm Yacht Club for 28 years; and a member of the St. Charles Yacht Club for 15 years.
Survivors include his wife Jean A. Bozich; daughter Barbara Bozich McGeoghean, daughter-inlaw Janet Bozich Winter; seven grandchildren Madeline Ragno, Sophia Ragno, Katelynn Besancon, Brynn Schmidt, Erin Thien, Bryce Bozich, and John Bozich; three great-grandchildren, Joseph and George Thien and Brooklyn Schmidt; two brothers James Bozich and Anthony Miles; and close friend Mark Burja.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his son Bradford A. Bozich, and his best friend Ray VonBitter.
Memorials can be directed to the Mayo Clinic. Memorial gifts can be made by mail, online, or phone: Mail: Checks can be made directly to Mayo Clinic and sent to: Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905. In the memo line please indicate, in memory of Robert Bozich. Phone: To make a gift by credit card or to speak to a Development Representative, please call 507-284-2264 or 855-852-8129 (toll-free) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. central time, Monday through Friday and indicate your gift is in memory of Robert Bozich. Online: Gifts can be made online by visiting https://philanthropy.mayoclinic.org/donateMC -Under designate my gift to indicate “other” and type “Pancreatic Cancer Research” -Under gifts options indicate “Make this donation a tribute” -Click “In memory of,” and write, “Robert Bozich” -Click “Mail a letter on my behalf,” and fill in: Jean Bozich 7267 Ely Lake Dr, Eveleth, MN 55734
Family services are provided by Bauman-Cron, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia. To express condolences on-line please see: www.baumanfuneralhome.com.