If you are from the upper Midwest of the US, or if you’ve spent any time here, you are intimately familiar with the chain of hypermarkets called Meijer. Not to be confused with Fred Meyers stores. Our Fred Meijer was a local man who went out of his way to make goods available to everyone at the lowest possible price, but he was also a philanthropist of the highest caliber. There are many buildings in my area that bear his and his wife’s names (including the new state-of-the-art heart center at a local hospital), as well as a truly amazing sculpture and botanical garden complex. He could be found just about anywhere handing out free coupons to children for the ice cream shop in the front of his stores, and to this day it costs just a penny for children to ride the mechanical horse found near the front door of every store. He passed away yesterday at the age of 91, and the world definitely has a hole in it. I count myself very fortunate indeed to have known him. Sleep well, Mr. Meijer. You’ve definitely earned the rest.

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