NEWS: OBITUARY

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Michael E. Argent

Founder and former president of the Permalok Corp. of St. Louis, Mo., Michael Argent, 54, passed away on Feb. 20.

The winner of NUCA’s 1992 Associate of the Year Award, he served for many years on NUCA’s board of directors and as chair of the Trenchless Excavation Committee (1988-90). Recognized as one of the industry’s true visionaries, he was a motivating force behind the growth of trenchless technology among NUCA members and around the United States. He was also one of the founding directors of the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT) in 1990 and served on the board of directors for four years. Vice president of sales at Pittsburgh Pipe when he won the Associate award, he subsequently invented “Permalok” — a steel pipe joining system for trenchless installation and rehabilitation (patent issued 1999) — and founded the Permalok Corp. Memorial donations may be made to the National Kidney Foundation.

J. David Miller

Midwest Mole’s J. David Miller, 58, passed away on Feb. 20.

Born June 1, 1950, in Shelbyville, Ind., he was the son of Jarold Wade and Patricia Ann (Cole) Miller. He married the former Rita S. Maples.

Miller was a superintendent and a part of Midwest Mole Inc. for 26 years. He was a construction worker for 36 years. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War, honorably discharged in 1975.

Memorial contributions may be made to New Life United Methodist Church, 6145 N. 400 W, Fairland, Ind., 46126.

Harold J. Mueller

Harold J. Mueller, founder of MRM, passed away on Feb. 16.

He was born March 13, 1926, in Milwaukee, the son of Alex and Hilda Mueller. He married Beatrice Lepsch in 1947 while serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Army. After his service, he finished his education at Marquette University. Upon graduating in 1947, Harold and Bea moved to La Crosse to embark upon raising a family and his chosen career as a high school teacher.

In 1956 they moved back to Milwaukee, where Mueller joined his father in the underground utility construction industry. The company was renamed Mueller Co. in 1960 when Harold’s brother, Bob, joined them. Over time, Mueller Co. evolved into the MRM Technical Group, the largest distribution pipeline construction company in the United States. At its peak, the company employed almost 3,000 people. He was the recipient of the National Utility Contractor Association’s “Ditch Digger of the Year” and, most recently, the Distribution Contractors Association’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

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