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A long life, well lived.

DanHolohan
DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,438
I just received this e-mail from my friend, Dan Whitezell, letting me know that Mr. Frans Roffelsen has passed. Marianne and I were guests of Mr. Roffelsen and his wife, Jo, some years ago in the Netherlands. Mr. and Mrs. Roffelsen were being honored by the Queen of the Netherlands for what they had accomplished to that point in their lives. There were many hundreds of people at that party, but Mr. and Mrs. treated Marianne and me as if we were the most important people in the world. I will always remember that. What a gentleman this man was, and what a life he lived. I want to share with you the e-mail Dan just sent:



<span>Ladies and Gentlemen,</span>

 

<span>It is with a great deal of sadness that I inform

you of the passing of Mr. Frans Roffelsen, our founder, the inventor of the

Spirovent, and father of Erik Roffelsen, President of Spirotherm, Inc., late

last night in Helmond, The Netherlands.  Mr. Roffelsen, age 93 is

survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Jo; sons Erik, Rob, and Rudy;

daughter Karen; six grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.  Plans are

incomplete at this time with Erik and Nelleke departing today for

Europe.</span>

 

<span>Mr. Roffelsen, as a true entrepreneur and innovator

started his first company Metallo B.V. in 1948 as a trade, import, and

technology enterprise.  In 1970 the technology and research division

resulted in the creation of Spiro Research B.V. and the development of

the Spirovent along with many other products.  Spirotech B.V.began

operations in 1985 as the worldwide manufacturing and sales company for the

growing product line, with Spirotherm, Inc. following in 1990 to provide a North

American manufacturing and sales presence.  Mr. Roffelsen and his wife

owned the businesses until 2005 when Erik and Nelleke took over as second

generation family ownership.  Even after delegating day to day

management he came to the office every day well into his eighties to keep eye on

the research department, monitor and renew his many worldwide patents, and yes,

keep inventing new things.</span>

 

<span>I had the privilege of spending many hours with him

in his office hearing stories and being asked if many of his new ideas would

have a market in the United States.  Always thinking and always tinkering,

he was a joy to spend time with.  He and Mrs. Roffelsen joined us here for

our first North American meeting in 1999 in Pittsburgh, enjoyed

meeting new people and our Dixieland style riverboat dinner

cruise.  Both before and after "retirement" I was welcomed to their

home several times and he was a gracious host, one time even being the chef for

lunch.  Seeing him for the last time in July, 2009, I will remember

him fondly.</span>

 

<span>A gentleman dedicated to family, business, and of

course his inventions, he will be missed.</span>

 <span style="color:#000000">

<span>Dan Whitezell</span>

<span>Vice President, Marketing and Sales</span>

<span>Spirotherm, Inc.  </span></span>
Retired and loving it.
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