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Welcome to the memorial page for

Arvid Honkanen

December 18, 2017
Arvid Honkanen, 92, passed away peacefully with family by his side on Monday, December 18, 2017, after a brief illness.

He was born to Finnish immigrants Allan and Anna Honkanen on February 24, 1925 in Nichols Township, MN. 

After his WWII Army service in the Pacific Theater, Arv graduated from Trine University with a degree in chemical engineering, subsequently developing an expertise in food packaging primarily through plastic and foam extrusion.

While working for American Can Company and W.R. Grace he was granted five U.S. patents.  His first one was obtained in 1957 for an apparatus that more effectively seamed cans.  In 1963, Arv was awarded a patent for a machine and process that molded plastic beads into cellular thermoplastic articles. Arv's third patent was granted in 1968 for an invention that developed a plastic cup suitable for holding hot beverages without discomfort to a person’s fingers or hand. The device also allowed those cups to be nested compactly and required a minimal amount of plastic material, resulting in a less labor-intensive process and a more economically manufactured product. Arv acquired another patent in 1976 for a mechanism that laminated layers of foam with paper or metal foil without adhesives.  His fifth patent was secured in 1977 for a process that expanded sheets of foam useful for light weight thermal insulation and packaging material.

In 1980 Arv took an early retirement from W. R. Grace and co-founded Custom Co-Ex Films in Senoia, Georgia, which made specialized packaging for perishable food and beverage items and other unique products.  The company was sold in 1988, and now operates as Winpak Films.  

Arv enjoyed playing golf, following the stock market, reading, and loved his family’s pets.  

Arv was a member of the Catholic Church, and demonstrated his strong faith in the love and care for his family that sustained them all through the deaths of his three sons, James Allan, Kenneth Charles and Richard Lee.  He was a faithful caregiver to his beloved wife of 66 years, Claire, until her death in 2015. 

He was also preceded in death by his parents, brothers Allan Honkanen and Robert Honkanen, and sisters Helvi Payette and Kay Isaacson.

Arv is survived by his devoted daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Sam Elliott; two cherished granddaughters: Mary Claire Elliott of Chattanooga and Sarah Anne Elliott of Birmingham, Alabama; as well as several nieces and nephews; and sister-in-law, Rosie Schaab of Fort Wayne, Indiana.  
The family wishes to thank Dr. Malissa Talbert, Dr. Brian Hale, Dr. Ken Parker and Hospice of Chattanooga.

Services will be held at 10:00 am Monday, January 22, 2017 in Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Chattanooga Foundation, PO Box 46, Chattanooga,  TN 37401 or Alexian Employees College Fund, 437 Alexian Way, Signal Mountain, TN. 37377. Arrangements by Lane Funeral Home, Chattanooga, TN 877-3524,

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