Gary Vermeer, founder and chairman emeritus of Vermeer Corp. in Pella, Iowa, died Feb. 2. He was 90. He is survived by his wife Matilda and three children and their spouses, Stanley and Alma Vermeer, Robert and Lois Vermeer and Mary and Dale Andringa, eight grandchildren and nine great granchildren.
In 1943, Gary Vermeer and his cousin invested a wagon hoist that made it easier to unload corn. After demand for the labor saving device grew, Gary and his cousin started Vermeer Manufacturing Company five years later, in 1948.
From that small operation, the company has grown over the past 60 years to an international organization that manufactures agricultural, construction, environmental and industrial equipment. Today, Vermeer Corp. has industrial dealerships in over 60 countries and on every continent except Antarctica, in addition to hundreds of agricultural equipment dealers thorughout the U.S. Its corporate offices and manufacturing facility in Pella, Iowa, cover 1.5 million square feet - more than 33 acres - under one roof. That includes seven manufacturing plants, a parts distribution center and the Global Pavillion, which includes an arena, training center and the Vermeer Museum. Two of Gary's children, Robert Vermeer and Mary Vermeer Andringa, now serve as co-chief executive officers of Vermeer Corp. Three of his grandchildren are also active in the corporation.
For more information, visit www.garyvermeer.com.
For history on Vermeer click here.