Don Wolf, a local leader known as much for his charitable works as his home improvement retail success, died today. He was 90.
Wolf was president and CEO for 25 years of the co-op now known as Do it Best Corp., an international, multi-billion-dollar organization.
Dan Starr, Do it Best's president and CEO, said everyone in the company is "incredibly saddened" by the news.
"Do it Best Corp. would not be the company we are without the passionate vision of Don Wolf, and the same can be said of the city of Fort Wayne," Starr said in a statement. "In addition to his unparalleled contributions to our industry, his philanthropic work here and throughout the region has positively impacted the lives of thousands of people."
Wolf co-founded Big Brothers of Greater Fort Wayne in 1972. He also serves as the nonprofit's first president and went on to serve as president of the national board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America from 1977 to 1980.
He also founded Study Connection in partnership with Fort Wayne Community Schools in 1989. The program trains and pairs volunteer tutor with students who need help with homework one afternoon a week. The relationships also help students build confidence and self-esteem.
Among the many awards Wolf received during his lifetime were the Sagamore of the Wabash and the Sachem Award, the state's highest individual honor.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Wolf is survived by his wife, Ginny; their four children, Donna, Lisa, Rebecca and Rick; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.