Donald "Don" Niederer '53 August 23, 2022 4:50 PM updated: August 23, 2022 5:11 PM
Donald H. Niederer
April 15, 1931 - June 4, 2022
Donald Harold Niederer, “Don” of Argyle, Texas passed peacefully at his home on June 4, 2022. He was 91.
A Celebration of Don’s life will be held Saturday, July 9, 2022 at 2:00pm at The Country Abbey in Justin, Texas, at 116 N. Jackson Ave. Please visit DonNiederer.com for a live stream of the memorial service and to leave a comfort message for the family.
Don was born April 15, 1931 in Berwyn, Illinois to Dorothy (Oth) and Ernst Niederer. He graduated from Morton High School in Berwyn, then attended Texas A&M University. He was an ROTC cadet and graduated with the Class of ‘53, with a degree in mechanical engineering. He served in the U.S Army as a Second Lieutenant and was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. He was quickly recognized by his superiors for his marksmanship and knowledge of firearms, and was assigned as a range master over the rifle training facilities. Following his honorable discharge, he remained on active reserve for many years.
His career path took him back to Chicago to his father’s small compressor company and while working there, with a wife and 2 small daughters, he attended Chicago-Kent School of Law and earned his JD in 1957. He was accepted to the Illinois Bar that same year. Over the next 27 years, he grew his father’s company to national prominence as a manufacturer of industrial refrigeration systems, under the name Krack Corporation. Following the sale of Krack, Don saw an opportunity in Dallas to acquire a struggling insulated panel plant. He renamed it Metl-Span Corporation, moved it to Lewisville, and guided it’s development as a turn-key supplier of refrigerated warehousing and food processing plants. He grew the company to dominate the US market, while making significant inroads to international markets. He retired in 1996.
Don returned to his alma mater many times as a guest speaker to the graduate students in Texas A&M’s College of Business, on the topics of entrepreneurship and international business. He was named a Distinguished Graduate of the School of Engineering. He was a founding member of both the Midwest Industrial Management Association and the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration.
Throughout his life, Don was a knowledgeable and loyal colleague to those in his industry, and a generous mentor to many more. His giving of himself was only surpassed by his love for his family. It was not uncommon for Don to make 3 connecting flights, instead of a convenient non-stop, to make it home from business trips in time for his sons’ baseball games. At other times, he would abruptly end his work day to head to his daughter’s volleyball games. He took his children on hunting and fishing trips too numerous to name. He was a steadfast and devoted husband. His absence will be felt by all who knew and loved him.
Don is survived by his wife of 42 years, Sherrill Naomi (Snider), sons Daniel Niederer of Argyle, David Niederer and wife Maryam of Corinth, daughter Katherine Morris and husband Jonathan of Fort Worth, and daughters Nancy Smiegowski and husband Kenneth of Georgia, Laura Nemcek of Minnesota, and their mother Shirley Niederer. Don is survived by sister Marion Streder of Frisco, Texas and sister-in-law Edith Niederer of Wisconsin.
Grandchildren brought many handshakes and hugs to Papa, Pappy, and Grandpa. He is survived by Stephanie Smiegowski Marshall and husband Shawn, Nick Nemcek and Melissa Nemcek, David’s children Sophia, Lily, and Matthew Niederer, Daniel’s sons Skyler Niederer and Sterling Niederer, and their mother Christabell Niederer. Don was great grandpa to Isaac, Ian, Ada, and Nova, and he always enjoyed seeing his many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Dan Niederer and Ernie Niederer, brother-in-law Al Streder, son-in-law Don Nemcek, nephew Eric Niederer, and brother-in-law Randy Snider.
Donations may be made in Don’s memory to the charity of your choice.