Frank Hasenfratz, founder of auto parts manufacturing giant Linamar, has died.
The company announced Hasenfratz died peacefully at his Guelph home Saturday surrounded by his family after a long battle with cancer. He was 86.
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of my father, Frank Hasenfratz," said Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz in a statement posted on the LInamar website.
"It was his vision and unrelenting drive that enabled us to build the company that Linamar is today. He leaves a tremendous legacy on the Canadian business landscape, changed the lives of so many, and provided careers, livelihoods and opportunities for thousands of people. He inspired and taught so many, myself most profoundly, and his spirit will live on in each of us as we continue to build the legacy of Linamar."
Frank Hasenfratz came to Canada from Hungary in 1957 following the Hungarian Revolution. He began Linamar as a one-man operation in the basement of his family home north of Guelph in 1966.
Linamar has 26,000 employees in 60 manufacturing locations, 12 research and development centres and 25 sales offices in 17 countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
"His toolmaking and machinist experience along with his determination built the foundation for what has become a globally recognized multinational corporation that reflects his image and culture. Frank's journey is the great Canadian success story," Linamar said in its statement.
Frank Hasenfratz was honoured as the Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year, inducted into the Canadian Manufacturing Hall of Fame and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and was appointed to the Order of Canada.
He was a generous supporter of the greater Guelph community that helped grow his company and donated to numerous philanthropic causes including the Guelph General Hospital, Western University, St. Joseph's Foundation and of the local performance arts.
He was predeceased by late wife, Margaret and leaves behind his daughter Linda and son-in-law Ed and their four children, as well as daughter Nancy and son-in-law Mark.