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Former Meijer President Dies at 90

Earl Holton

Earl Holton, former Meijer president, passed away on Friday. 

Holton began working for Meijer soon after graduating high school in 1952 as a store clerk, served as president from 1980-1999, and remained an advisor through this year.

“The entire Meijer family is saddened by the loss of Earl, who played a key role in the growth and development of Meijer and was a trusted confidant of my father during a pivotal period in our company’s history,” said executive chairman Hank Meijer in a statement. “The impact Earl made on Meijer was only exceeded by the impact he made on this community, which he loved dearly and supported through numerous philanthropic initiatives. Our thoughts and prayers are with Earl’s family during this difficult time.”

Holton started his career at Meijer as a store clerk in Cedar Springs, Michigan, before becoming a store manager, and then district manager. In 1961, he became the first Thrifty Acres operations manager and was then named VP of operations in 1966. Holton continued earning additional responsibility as an SVP and then EVP before being named president in June 1980.

“Without Earl’s leadership, Meijer would not be the company it is today,” said Rick Keyes, Meijer president and CEO, in a statement. “His impact on our business can still be seen, and his impact on our culture will last even longer. He was never satisfied with just meeting customers’ needs, he always wanted to exceed them. Earl’s counsel has been truly invaluable to me, but I will miss our friendship the most.”