Art Van Elslander, who founded Michigan-based Art Van Furniture and opened his first store in 1959 in Eastpointe, has died. He was 87.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Statement from Mayor Mike Duggan on the passing of Art Van Elslander:

The City of Detroit lost one of its greatest supporters and philanthropists today. Furniture may have been Art Van Elslander’s business, but Detroit always has been his heart.

Art’s kindness and generosity seemed to have no limits. Thanks to his support, families across metro Detroit and the nation are able to share in the annual tradition of America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Our premature and critically-ill newborn babies are being given the best chance at a healthy life at the Mary Ann Van Elslander Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. John Hospital & Medical Center. And his extraordinary pledge of $20 million for the Solonus Casey Center will help to revitalize another city neighborhood.

There will never be another “Art Van.” He will be terribly missed and fondly remembered.

 

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