In Memoriam Mr. W. Spangenthal
Wilfred Spangenthal was born on July 14th 1933 in Amsterdam. During the Second World War he was imprisoned for 2 years in the concentration camp Theresienstadt with his mother and younger brother, his father was sent to the Extermination camp Auschwitz and did not survive. His mother remarried after the war with Hans Wolff and a daughter was born from that marriage. Wilfred’s brother Michel died soon after the war from kidney failure and his generally deteriorated physical condition from the suffering during the war. The family Wolff-Spangenthal moved to Canada at the end of the 40’s, where Wilfred started studying at McGill University in Montreal. During a holiday he went to Suriname to have a look at a small company owned by Hans Wolff’s family business in Holland and he decided to stay! He stayed for 25 years and expanded this tiny company to one of the largest importers/distributors of the country. In 1973 his (2nd) father Hans Wolff suddenly died and the Spangenthal family (Wilfred had married and they had 2 daughters) moved to The Netherlands.
From Amsterdam, and later the town of Lisse, he managed the company with a tight grip and even managed to stay afloat during the difficult ‘80’s. In the mean time he diversified and invested in a Dutch company called Bizerta Sport, which he co-managed until a few years ago. Nevertheless he continued visiting Suriname 3-4 times a year and was very informed about everything happening there. In 2005 his daughter Irene returned to Suriname with her partner Stan Franker, to assume management of the company together with the Director Joyce Heijmans who had been there for many years. Wilfred Spangenthal remained Director of the Dutch Holding and purchasing office.
He inspired his family, employees and everyone dealing with him. He represented a generation who valued ethics, norms and values very highly and combined that with a keen financial and commercial insight. Apart from that, he was someone who was always ready to help – both financially and with his time – individuals and organisations turning to him in times of need.
While he will be thoroughly missed, his successors and management will continue in his spirit and be guided by the great memories.