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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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LEON J. ARP
Leon J. Arp, Ph.D., 91, died July 23, 2021, after a long illness.
He was born in Norway, Iowa, on June 30, 1930, to Hugo and Leova (Schmidt) Arp. After graduating from Walford High School in 1948, he spent four years in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, serving in air reconnaissance at Itazuke Air Base in Japan.
Arp married Kathleen (Schulte) in 1955. He earned a Ph.D. from Iowa State University and served as a professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech for 25 years, earning numerous distinctions for teaching and research.
He is best known for developing the Arp Respirator in the late 1960s. The device saved hundreds of infants' lives and was profiled in a 1970 photo essay in Life magazine. Arp continued to innovate throughout his career and held more than 25 patents.
In his retirement, Arp enjoyed many hobbies including photography, traveling and growing cacti, orchids and giant sequoias.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Kathleen; his children, Nicholas, Joseph and John (Cathy); eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Other survivors are his sister, Audrey (Joseph) Tuttle of Cedar Rapids; and brothers, Kenneth (Patricia) of Amana, Regis (Barbara) of Fairfax and Allan (Lydia) of Palo.
He was preceded in death by a son, William.
A funeral Mass will be held Tuesday, Aug. 3, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Blacksburg, Va. Memorials may be directed to the donor's charity of choice.