GREENVILLE — Greenville native Fred Meijer gave back not only to his hometown community, but also to the whole county.
Franz Mogdis, Montcalm County Alliance executive director, said Meijer has left a positive impact all over the county, especially through the trails.
Mogdis said Meijer first became involved in Heartland Trial after reading a story in The Daily News. Meijer called John Stafford, the late Daily News publisher, and set up a meeting with Stafford and Mogdis.
“He came up with $250,000 in three days in order to buy the trail,” Mogdis said of Meijer wanting to get involved.
Meijer, Mogdis said, became excited about the opportunities the trails would provide not only economically but recreationally as well.
“Montcalm County has a tremendous legacy because of what he contributed to the county,” Mogdis said.
Greenville City Manager George Bosanic said it was not about what Meijer meant to the city of Greenville, but what Greenville meant to Meijer.
“He had a clear passion for the city and community,” Bosanic said and added for as much as Meijer accomplished throughout his life, he always remembered his roots.
Bosanic said it was a real blessing and privilege to know Meijer the way he did through projects in Greenville.
“He always had great memories and stories,” Bosanic said. “He was truly an unique person and I appreciated him.”
Tina Freese-Decker, Spectrum Health United and Kelsey hospitals president, said the hospitals are grateful for Meijer’s commitment to their vision, the community and his support through the years.
“Fred and Lena cared deeply about the people of Greenville and generously advocated for our community to have access to the best in health care,” she said. “He will be greatly missed.”
Public visitation will be from 2 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids Township. The family will have a private memorial service on Wednesday for invited guests only.
Daily News Facebook fans react to Fred Meijer’s death
• Roberta Hughes Mulholland RIP Fred. Greenville would not be what it is today without you and your true love of the community.
• Indira Miller-Smith He was an amazing man that led an amazing life. His kindness and generosity will be sorely missed. I pray that those who are left behind will carry out his legacy to the fullest.
• Debbie Lincoln R.I.P. Mr. Fred Meijer. The hospital where I am a nurse at, (SHUH) is a nicer, better, place to work because of your awesome generosity. Thank You. May your legacy live on.
• Sandy Muns Gardner Bless him for being a kind, generous and sweet soul. It is a sad day for so many. He made a difference in so many lives and for that we are thankful. As a wife to someone who has worked for Fred for 33 years, I can say it was a pleasure to meet him and hear his stories. I agree that we should pray that those left behind will stay the course and adhere to the high standards they should follow.
• Dawn Allen R.I.P. Fred Meijer put Greenville on the Map he was a Good Man and I am glad I had the privilege to meet him and know him. God Bless him and his family my heart goes out to his family may he rest in peace.
• Ryan Klackle He truly was a man that understood the American Dream. He worked his butt off, had a goal, and achieved it in a humane way. And he never forgot where he came from. Always blessing others because he himself was blessed. Such an inspiration. RIP Fred, I will miss you, the City of Greenville will miss you, and the entire County of Montcalm will miss you.