Peter O. Stamats, chairman of the board at Cedar Rapids, IA-based Stamats Communications Inc., parent company of Stamats Buildings Media Inc., publisher of Buildings magazine and Buildings.com, died Dec. 15, 2003, after a courageous battle with cancer. Stamats worked for the firm – started by his father in 1923 – for more than 38 years, retiring as company president in December 1996.
Born July 20, 1929, in Cedar Rapids, IA, Stamats graduated from Dartmouth College in 1951 and then served three years in the United States Air Force before moving to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for three years.
Throughout his life, Stamats held many positions, including a member of the board of directors at Guaranty Bank and Trust Co.; trustee of Mount Mercy College; president and trustee of the Brucemore Historic Site; board member of the Iowa State Arts Council, the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission, and the Linn County Mental Health Association; member of the executive committee for the Friends of Baker Library at Dartmouth College; and member of the Cedar Rapids Country Club.
A lifelong patron of the arts, Stamats contributed greatly to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art for more than 45 years, contributing both funds and art works there as well as to the University of Iowa Museum of Art. He served as a director and president of the Cedar Rapids Art Association and then as a trustee and president of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.
Stamats and his wife, Susan, ran Buzzard’s Glory Balloon Co. and could often be seen flying their hot air balloons over the city of Cedar Rapids, as well as in many regional and national competitions. Stamats was a life member of the Balloon Federation of America, a member of the North American Hot Air Balloon Association, and the founding president and director of the National Balloon Museum in Indianola, IA.
He is survived by his wife, Susan; two sons, Peter S. Stamats (and wife Karen Lynn Allen) and William S. Stamats (and wife Anne Purdie Stamats); five grandchildren; a sister, Sally Hedges; and many other family members and friends.