DETROIT (WWJ) – Funeral services will be private for Detroit businessman and sports magnate Mike Ilitch, 87, who died Friday.
Fans will be able to pay their respects to Ilitch during a public memorial service. Details on the memorial will be announced as soon as they are finalized.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to:
Olympia Entertainment confirmed around 6:30 p.m. Friday evening that Ilitch passed away at a local hospital.
Ilitch and his wife Marian opened the first Little Caesars in Garden City in 1959. He then bought the Red Wings in 1982 and the Tigers in 1992. The couple recently donated $40 million to Wayne State University for a new business school.
“My father was a once-in-a-generation entrepreneur, visionary and leader, setting the tone for our organization and our family,” Christopher Ilitch said in a statement. “He made such a positive impact in the world of sports, in business and in the community, and we will remember him for his unwavering commitment to his employees, his passion for Detroit, his generosity to others and his devotion to his family and friends. Together my family and the company celebrate the tremendous man he was, and we will continue to work hard to uphold his remarkable legacy. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work with him to nurture and grow our businesses, but mostly, I’m grateful to have called him my Dad, and I know my siblings feel the same.”