Many are sharing testimonials and tributes for business leader John Canepa after his death this week. The 87-year-old philanthropist died from injuries he received Monday, Jan. 22 when he was struck by a car while crossing Leonard Street NW.

"He believed our community could accomplish anything,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Roselynn Bliss after the death of business leader John Canepa. “John was an amazing man who helped shape our city.”

Beginning in the 1970's friends say Canepa used his leadership positions with Old Kent Bank and as co- chair of the non -profit Grand Action Committee to turn dreams like the DeVos Convention Center and VanAndel Arena into downtown developments.

“It’s incredibly hard to imagine our city without his contribution,” says Sam Cummings, a partner in CWD Real Estate Investments. “He came to embody what is best about Grand Rapids. Our culture of caring and wiliness to give of ourselves.”

Canepa was attending a going away party on Leonard Street Monday for former Grand Rapids City Commissioner Dave Shaffer.

Police may still be investigating the car-pedestrian crash. The identity of the driver or the exact circumstances have not been released.

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