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Funeral Friday for Art Van founder

February 15, 2018 GMT

Funeral services have been set for Art Van Elslander, the furniture store giant who died this week at age 87.

Visitation, which began Wednesday for the Art Van Furniture founder and prominent philanthropist, continues scheduled for 1-9 p.m. Thursday at Wujek Calcaterra & Sons, 54880 Van Dyke Ave, Shelby Township.

On Friday, Van Elslander lies in repose at Detroit’s Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, 9844 Woodward, at 9:30 a.m. Friday. A Mass follows at 11 a.m., according to the funeral home.

Memorial donations may be made to the Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order or to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Van Elslander is best known for launching a furniture-store empire of 181 locations from a single store in 1959.

He also contributed millions of dollars to charities and causes, including collecting and hauling 3 million bottles of water to Flint. In 1990, he wrote a personal check for $200,000 to save Detroit’s Thanksgiving parade.

In December, he donated $20 million to the Solanus Casey Center, a Catholic charity center in Detroit that’s named after the priest who is in the process of being canonized a saint.