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Around 10,000 people expected to pay final respects to Fred Meijer

Fred Meijer was 91-years old.
Fred Meijer was 91-years old.

Meijer spokesman Frank Guglielmi says they’re expecting at least 10,000 people to travel to Grand Rapids Tuesday for the public visitation.

“The Meijer family wanted to give the community an opportunity to pay their respects to Fred because he meant so much to so many people, not just in Grand Rapids but really in the state of Michigan,” Guglielmi said.

People have already flooded an online guest bookwith ‘thanks yous’ to Fred. They’ve shared memories of working with him; even simple stories like getting one of his signed Purple Cow cards (and Sandy the pony - rides still cost just a penny). The cards were good for one free ice cream cone at a Meijer deli. Meijer used to hand the cards out to people he met in his stores.

Michael D. Sipe in one of hundreds of entries:

I remember Fred, so many years ago, when I worked at the Meijer TA in Muskegon. Fred was always so friendly to all with a big smile and a hand shake. And me, just a stock clerk. He would always bend over and pick up scraps of paper shoppers had dropped, put them in his pocket. He must have had full pockets every night. Mr. Meijer...whoops! "Fred" (he always insisted we call him Fred) will be truly missed by so many. Rest in Peace! God's love to his family.

Public visitation is from 2p.m. until 8p.m. at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids Tuesday. A private funeral for will take place Wednesday at a Grand Rapids church.
Meijer passed away last Friday after suffering a stroke. He was 91.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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