Funeral held for Art Van founder

The Detroit News

Funeral services for Art Van Elslander, the furniture store giant who died this week at age 87, were held Friday.

Van Elslander lied in repose Friday morning at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, 9844 Woodward in Detroit. A mass followed at 11 a.m., according to the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Pallbearers carry the casket of Art Van Elslander out of the church out of the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament catholic church on Friday, February 16, 2018, in Detroit, Michigan.

Visitation for the Art Van Furniture founder and prominent philanthropist was held Wednesday and Thursday at Wujek Calcaterra & Sons, 54880 Van Dyke Ave. in Shelby Township.

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.