Friends and Family Bid Farewell To Fred Meijer

By Lindsay Kus

WXMI-TV, Grand Rapids, Mich.


Nov. 30–GRAND RAPIDS, Mich– A private funeral for Fred Meijer was held at Sunshine Community Church Wednesday morning.

“We are here because we love you and we care for you and you can claim that promise at any time,” said speaker David Hooker of the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

Family members, including Fred’s wife Lena, their three sons, grandchildren, and close friends, all attended the intimate service at the church on the East Beltline in Grand Rapids Township.

Steve Ford, son of President Gerald R. Ford, made light of the ironic timing of Fred’s passing on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

“Black Friday — that’s pretty good,” he said.

Speakers at the service reflected on Fred Meijer’s life and legacy and the impact he had on the region.

His popularity with the public was reflected Tuesday when thousands of people paid their respects during a public visitation at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

Meijer died Friday in Grand Rapids, just a couple of weeks shy of his 92nd birthday.

Visitors on Tuesday got a chance to sign a guest book and file past the open casket, which was surrounded by flowers inside the Great Room. Many became emotional as they walked by.

“I worked for Fred for 25 years,” said Betty Meconis, choking back the tears. “He was a wonderful guy.”

“We thought we should pay our respects.”

Many visitors shared similar sentiments and told stories of how Fred treated them and their families.

“He provided jobs for us, he was an inspiration,” said Selma Louck, who arrived with a group of retired Meijer workers. “He always came into store 312, and nobody was a stranger. Nobody was below him.”

Fred Meijer is not only being remembered as a successful businessman who transformed the grocery store to the supercenter, but a man of good character.

Many said that’s why they wanted to say goodbye.

“He was just a good man,” said Meconis.

The Meijer family recognized the impact Fred Meijer had on the area felt a need to let people pay their respects, said spokesman Frank Guglielmi.

Fred Meijer has been interred at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.


Posted by Tribune News Services

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