CANTEX President Passes Away

Don Wirtanen

FORT WORTH, Texas — CANTEX Inc. announced yesterday that its longtime President Don Wirtanen passed away at his home in Fort Worth, Texas this week at the age of 66.

Wirtanen’s 33-year career at CANTEX began in 1986 as a Product Sales Manager before he was promoted to Director of Sales & Marketing-Electrical in 1990. In 1991, he was promoted to CANTEX Vice President of Sales & Marketing. He then progressed to Executive Vice President & General Sales Manager in 1994 before taking the lead of CANTEX as President in 1995, the position he held until his untimely passing. Wirtanen’s career is marked by several years of record sales for CANTEX and great growth that necessitated new manufacturing facilities and distribution centers nationwide.

“It is with the deepest sadness that CANTEX has learned of the passing of CANTEX President Don Wirtanen. Don was an incredible businessman, a mentor, and a great friend. He leaves behind an extraordinary company, which he truly helped build during his 32 years of service. Don’s dedication to customers and quality will always be the foundation of CANTEX. Don’s vision, leadership, and love for CANTEX played a major role in making CANTEX one of [the] largest manufacturers of PVC electrical products in the United States.  He was truly esteemed by his employees for exemplary business standards and his concern for others,” said CANTEX Vice President of Sales & Marketing Dave Merker.

Wirtanen, who graduated from Ohio State in 1977, was a very dedicated alumnus of his alma mater and an avid Buckeye fan. Wirtanen was very involved with The Ohio State Alumni Association, and he formed the Wirtanen Family Endowment Foundation, which sponsored one Texas athlete who attended Ohio State each year.

“Don was all about his family, his friends, his company and his alma mater,” added Merker.

Wirtanen is survived by his two daughters, Sandra and Susan Wirtanen.  The family plans for a celebration of life service at a later date.

“I believe the best way to honor Don’s memory is to continue to build on his legacy to CANTEX, including his standards of excellence and commitment to service,” added Merker.

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Discussion (9 comments)

    Charles J Silva July 18, 2019 / 12:16 pm

    The industry has lost a great leader and individual and I have lost a friend. I have nothing but respect and fond memories of Don and will cherish them until I catch up with him later.

    Greg Smith July 18, 2019 / 12:47 pm

    I am deeply saddened to hear of Don’s passing. My heart goes out to his family; God bless.

    Don was a true gentleman; he was always willing to listen and help in any way he could. God speed, my friend.

    Norm P Sutterer July 18, 2019 / 7:13 pm

    A good person and solid competitor. Always had a big hello for everyone.
    Don will be missed

    Kevin sutherland July 18, 2019 / 8:20 pm

    Don was a outstanding human being. He was kind and gentle to all and treated everyone with respect. He will be missed. RIP Don Wirtenen.

    Paul McDonald July 19, 2019 / 1:34 pm

    Don was one of the good guys, he had no problem crossing over the line to help. He understood business, and he helped in every way possible to help you to be successful. I will miss his conversations, advise and his loud laughter. Cheers my friend, Rest in Peace.

    Mark Buck July 19, 2019 / 2:52 pm

    After a career of being friendly competitors, walking on the same paths, I got the pleasure of becoming beach neighbors and personal friends with Don. His smile will be missed.

    Eddie Jordan July 19, 2019 / 3:36 pm

    Don was a wonderful friend and excellent businessman. He will be missed by his friends and the industry.

    Michele Leohner August 8, 2019 / 11:07 am

    Don was an amazing , kind , funny and loving Man. So very sad and heart broken to hear the news or his passing. He was a hard worker , leader and good hearted Man. He was one of the best. We will all miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. I will remember him and have him in my heart forever. Will always love and miss him. He always said Not to worry ❤️

    Mark Venetti December 9, 2019 / 5:04 pm

    Just learned of Don’s passing. No words can convey my feelings. A true friend, mentor and confidant…

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