Farewell Frank: Linamar founder Frank Hasenfratz dead at 86

Guelph, Ontario — Frank Hasenfratz, founder of Guelph, Ontario-based auto parts manufacturer Linamar, has died at the age of 86 years old.

Hasenfratz, a survivor of the Hungarian Revolution, was surrounded by family as he finished his battle with cancer on Saturday.

Using his skills as a toolmaker and machinist, Hasenfratz managed to start a one-man business from the basement of his family’s home north of Guelph, Ont. in 1966, only nine years after immigrating to Canada.

Fifty-six years and 26,000 employees later, Linamar is a staple in the Canadian auto parts industry and Hasenfratz’s legacy lives on through Linda, Frank’s daughter and the company’s CEO.

“It was his vision and unrelenting drive that enabled us to build the company that Linamar is today,” said Linda Hasenfratz in a Linamar press release from Saturday.

“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.”

In his career, Hasenfratz was named 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.

Hasenfratz was predeceased by his 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.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days, according to the press release.

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