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Frederik Meijer dies at age 91


Frederik Meijer, the Chairman Emeritus of Meijer grocery stores has died at the age of 91.

Meijer Corp. owns more than 150 stores in Michigan and around the Midwest.

He also helped establish the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI.

Meijer and his wife Lena were major philanthropists in Western Michigan. One organization to receive a major gift was Grand Valley State University, which named its public broadcast center after him.

The Meijers were also the lead donors when Spectrum Health began a $30 million fund drive for a proposed heart center, and in 2004 the hospital opened the Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center.

According to a statement from Meijer Corporation, Meijer died Friday night at Spectrum Health System in Grand Rapids. He had suffered a stroke at home Friday morning.

Funeral arrangments are expected to be announced this weekend.

Frank Guglielmi is the Director of Public Relations for Meijer. He says, "The Meijer family thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers and requests their privacy be respected at this difficult time."

The Kent County Republican Party released this statement on the news of Meijer's death:

“With our deepest sympathy we extend our thoughts and prayers to the Meijer family following the passing of Fred Meijer. Mr. Meijer cared deeply about our community and he was a generous and thoughtful philanthropist in each and every endeavor he pursued. May God bless the entire Meijer family during this difficult time of grieving."

Fred Meijer is survived by his wife Lena, three sons and five grandchildren.

Vincent Duffy has been news director at Michigan Public since May 2007.