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Frans Roffelsen, 93, founder of Spirotech B.V. (Helmond, The Netherlands) and Spirotherm, Inc. (Glendale Heights, Ill.), died Jan. 27 in Helmond, The Netherlands. Roffelsen started his first company Metallo B.V. in 1948 as a trade, import, and technology enterprise. In 1970, the technology and research division resulted in the creation of Spiro Research B.V. and the development of the Spirovent (Roffelsen’s invention) along with many other products.
Spirotech B.V. began operations in 1985 as the worldwide manufacturing and sales company for the growing product line, with Spirotherm Inc. following in 1990 to provide a North American manufacturing and sales presence.
Roffelsen and his wife owned the businesses until 2005 when his son, Erik Roffelsen, the current president, and wife Nelleke Roffelsen-Peters took over as second-generation family ownership. Even after delegating day-to-day management, he came to the office every day well into his 80s to keep eye on the research department, monitor and renew his many worldwide patents, and continue to invent new things.
He is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Jo; sons Erik, Rob and Rudy; daughter Karen; six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.