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Published: 4/11/2005

Andersons executive oversaw Woodville, Lima mall openings

Larry D. Rigel, former vice president and general manager of the retail division of The Andersons Inc., died of cancer Friday in the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus. A resident of rural Bowling Green, he was 63.

He had been ill for six weeks, his daughter, Aimee Malcolm, said.

Mr. Rigel retired from The Andersons in 1995 after a 30-year career. His positions included marketing manager for the agricultural fertilizer division and merchandise manager for the retail division.

"Larry was the best boss anybody could ever have," said Jim Weaver, a lawn and garden buyer who worked for Mr. Rigel. "He was demanding. He was very fair and firm."

He said Mr. Rigel was good at motivating people, and the retail division seemed to flourish during his tenure.

As vice president and general manager of the retail division, Mr. Rigel ran the general stores and was involved in the construction of branches. He oversaw the openings of The Andersons stores in the Woodville Mall and the American Mall in Lima, his daughter said.

He joined The Andersons as manager of the garden center in Columbus, where he had operated a landscaping business, his son-in-law, Andy Malcolm, said.

He transferred to Maumee in 1973, his daughter said.

Mr. Malcolm said his father-in-law, who helped him build a meat business, was a very good businessman because he cared about the people he worked with and believed that what was good for them was good for him. "Larry got a real charge out of seeing anyone succeed," he said.

After he retired he worked as an independent consultant for firms including an agriculture company in Morral, Ohio.

Mr. Rigel was born in Leipsic, Ohio, on March 8, 1942. He graduated from Leipsic High School in 1960 and studied agriculture and business at Ohio State University, graduating in 1964.

He was active in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Maumee, and headed a project to help bring a family of Cambodian refugees to the area after the Vietnam War, his son-in-law said. The family "came over with nothing, and he just took them under his wing," Mr. Malcolm said.

He helped the Otsego Local Schools' fund-raising efforts.

He enjoyed antique cars and spending time at a summer home at Catawba Island.

Surviving are his wife of 42 years, Cynthia; daughters, Aimee Malcolm and Wendy Thompson; son, Tom Rigel; brother, Thomas Rigel, and seven grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. tomorrow in the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Maumee.

The family suggests tributes to Young Life of Toledo or the church.



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