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VIDEO | API pays tribute to Digger O’Dell

Iron Ridge, WI – The team at API Heat Transfer, 1025 Industrial Road, Iron Ridge, WI, paid tribute to one of its own this week with a special unveiling of a memorial to Doug “Digger” O’Dell, who worked for the company 30+ years.

“Digger” was much loved. A top-notch welder, avid motorcyclist, prankster, and master hunter and fisherman died November 22, 2021.

His death was devastating for everyone, especially the welders who have worked alongside him for so many years.


Chad Christensen, API production manager, said, “When his wife came to pick up his belongings, I asked her if I could keep his welding helmet, leather apron, hammer/chisel, gloves, and his number stamp, so we could display it.

“Well, just displaying it did not work for me, and felt he deserved more. So, I had my team fabricate a fan shroud, it is one we build for customers quite often.”

Digger O’Dell; Photo credit: Shimon Funeral Home

Each welder had a part in the creation of the project, welding a portion of the shroud and stamping it with their individual stamp number.

The idea was to display Digger’s items in the shroud using different types of welding tools and parts fabricated at API, cover it with plexiglass, and display it in the lunchroom.

“We invited Digger’s wife, LuAnn, to have lunch with us this week to show her the memorial we fabricated. We also have some other items we wanted to present her during the lunch,” Christensen said.

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