Officials at Grand Valley State University are mourning the loss of Edward I. Schalon, a Muskegon-area economic leader whose family was a benefactor of the university. Schalon died on December 27 at home in St. Joseph, Michigan, his current residence.
“Ed Schalon made a mark on Muskegon, and his family made a mark on Grand Valley. His leadership helped strengthen Grand Valley’s regional perspective, and he was very supportive of our efforts in engineering and with the Lake Michigan Center in Muskegon,” said Thomas J. Haas, president of Grand Valley State University. “Ed will be missed; our hearts go out to his wife Marcie and their family.”
Schalon was the former chairman of the board of SPX, the Fortune 500 manufacturing company formerly headquartered in Muskegon. He was an active booster of economic development of Muskegon during his tenure, serving as chairman of the “New Muskegon” campaign for economic recovery and expansion in the 1980s.
As an advocate of higher education, Schalon was one of the founding members of the Grand Valley University Foundation and an avid supporter of Grand Valley State University. He was a GVSU Hall of Fame Honoree, honored at the 1984 Enrichment Dinner. He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from GVSU in 1985.
Schalon and his wife, Marcella, were benefactors of Grand Valley, providing major support for the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing. The Mr. and Mrs. Edward I. Schalon Plastics and Metal Forming Lab was named in their honor in the college’s Keller Engineering Laboratories. The Schalons also supported Grand Valley’s Lake Michigan Center, which now houses the Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute in downtown Muskegon.
Schalon was a former trustee of the Michigan Colleges Foundation and the Citizen’s Research Council of Michigan.
Ed is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marcella (Gast); daughter Susan Schalon; son Scott (Lisa) Schalon; granddaughters Julie and Kelsey Broome; and great-granddaughter Rylee Broome. Also surviving are sister Lillian (Yircott) and brother Frederick (Martha), along with extended Schalon and Gast family members. Further information is available online at www.starks-menchinger.com.