Birger Juell, who sold his high-end hand-finished wood flooring and furnishings in the Chicago Merchandise Mart for more than six decades, was found drowned in a Wisconsin lake Oct. 6.

His wife Anne Juell also drowned.

Celebrity customers for Juell's wood flooring and other fine millwork sold at Birger Juell Ltd., included Oprah Winfrey, Howard Stern and John Cusack.

Juell, 93, began his woodworking career after emigrating from Norway aboard a square-rigged sailing ship, and he apprenticed for several years in the art of hand scraping wood. In 1946 he founded his own flooring company.

Birger Juell Ltd. asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Chicago Maritime Society, 310 S. Racine., Chicago IL 60607.

A memorial was held Sunday, Oct. 10; and an online memorial to the Juells is at www.smithcorcoran.com. 

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