The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, July 21, 2019


Frederik Meijer, billionaire founder of Meijer Inc. retail chain and arts patron, dead at 91
Frederik Meijer stands by the casting of a horse that is being donated to Vinci, Italy, Leonardo DaVinci's hometown in this undated photo. Meijer, who built the regional retail powerhouse Meijer Inc. while nurturing his lifelong love of the arts, has died at age 91. The company confirmed his death in a statement Friday evening Nov. 25, 2011, saying the billionaire died at the Spectrum Health System in Grand Rapids after suffering a stroke in his home in the early morning hours. AP Photo/Anna Moore Butzner - Grand Rapids Press.


GRAND RAPIDS, MICH (AP).- Frederik Meijer, who built the regional retail powerhouse Meijer Inc. while nurturing his lifelong love of the arts, died late Friday at a hospital in western Michigan. He was 91.

The billionaire passed away at the Spectrum Health System in Grand Rapids after suffering a stroke in his home early Friday morning, according to a statement issued by the company.

Meijer was credited with starting the supercenter store format in the 1960s that made Meijer a successful Midwest retailer. By 2009, Meijer had 180 of the giant stores throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio with annual sales of $15 billion.

He and his wife also gave millions of dollars to causes in the Grand Rapids area, and arts projects were major benefactors.

"The Meijer family thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers and requests their privacy be respected at this difficult time," the company's statement said.

Meijer was 14 when his Dutch immigrant father, Hendrik, opened his first grocery store in Greenville in 1934 with $338.76 worth of merchandise purchased on credit. The younger Meijer worked 40 hours a week at the store throughout high school.

"We were hard up, and you know what? I didn't even feel deprived," he said in a 2002 interview. "I had a good time in the store, I was a decent student in school — I had a B-plus average."

Meijer and his father expanded their grocery operation in 1962 to include general merchandise, creating their first Thrifty Acres supercenter.

"I really enjoyed working with my dad till he died (in 1964, at age 80)," Meijer said. "We had a marvelous relationship."

The stores were renamed Meijer in 1984, and the company became one of the nation's largest family-owned retail businesses. Frederik Meijer was 82 before he took the title of chairman emeritus and began devoting less time to the company.

One of his three sons, Hank Meijer, previously said his father never thought he knew more than anyone else, so he trusted people to do their jobs and listened to the advice of others.

Meijer was born Dec. 7, 1919, in Greenville and in 1946 married Lena Rader after meeting her at the first Meijer store in Greenville, where she was a clerk. They spent their honeymoon visiting new stores.

The Meijers donated generously to programs in the Grand Rapids area through the foundation he established in 1990.

The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, a 125-acre botanical garden outside Grand Rapids, opened in 1995. A 30-acre sculpture park featuring two dozen works by important modern sculptors was added seven years later.

Meijer collected sculptures for years, filling a garage with statues of animals and people before he found a home for many of them in the botanical garden. Those pieces, placed throughout the garden, are separate from the works in the sculpture area.

His interest in the arts stemmed from his youth. Even in the hardest of times, his parents made sure their children learned about culture.

"When I was young, I had piano lessons, clarinet lessons and violin lessons," he said. "My sister had piano, violin and viola (lessons). I was encouraged to sing in choirs. ...

"The point is, no matter how hard up we were in the Depression, certain things like that — music lessons — came as a part of life, rather than saying we couldn't afford it."

Meijer carried that belief to the community. Declaring that city dwellers needed to get outdoors to preserve "mental stability," he donated seed money to develop a network of hiking and cycling trails in western Michigan.

"Beyond raising a family and working and surviving, that's where the arts come in, and that's the sugar and spice," he said.

Meijer is survived by his wife, Lena, and sons Hank, Doug and Mark. Funeral arrangements are pending.

The death was first reported by The Grand Rapids Press.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.





Today's News

November 27, 2011

Two trial proofs for Andy Warhol's iconic image of a dollar sign for sale at Bonhams

Libya's state antiquities department recovers and displays looted Roman antiquities

National Institute of Anthropology and History acknowledges 2nd Mayan reference to 2012

Ashmolean Museum in Oxford opens new galleries of Ancient Egypt and Nubia

Frederik Meijer, billionaire founder of Meijer Inc. retail chain and arts patron, dead at 91

Archaeological discovery provides evidence of a celestial procession at Stonehenge

"The Art of Collecting" exhibition opens at the Flint Institute of Arts in Michigan

Exhibition at Moderna Museet focuses on non-commercial gallery Ynglingagatan 1

Visionary Canadian Jack Chambers Celebrated at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Sotheby's previews highlights from impressionist & modern and contemporary art sales in Hong Kong

Abbey House joins forces with the famous Polish art collector Wojciech Fibak

The photographs of Brett Weston opens at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The most important pair of Russian vases to appear on the market this Autumn

First major exhibition of works by Cathy Wilkes outside the UK at GAK Gesellschaft fr Aktuelle Kunst

Indian links with British military history for sale at Bonhams in London

Museum celebrates the spirit of the season with "Norman Rockwell and the Ghost of Dickens"

Unique 'Great Escape' Motorcycle for sale at Bonhams

1945 Bric a Bac Santa Anita Racing Trophy, jockey silks and archive to cross the block at H.A.

Czech architect Karel Hubacek dies at 87

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful