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Neil Kruschke Jr., former Stopol owner and CEO, dies in chainsaw accident

August 28, 2011

MARQUETTE, MICH. (Aug. 28, 1 p.m. ET) — Neil  Kruschke Jr., former owner and CEO of plastics equipment dealer Stopol Inc. and its auction business, Stopol Auctions LLC, died on Friday, Aug. 26, in a chainsaw accident in Republic Township, Mich., near Marquette. He was 44.

Kruschke had sold Stopol in 2009 to focus on his real estate ventures and other business interests. He had co-founded the Solon, Ohio-based company in 1990 with his brother Don and father Neil Sr. The firm started in the used equipment business, and eventually moved into other areas including liquidations, auctions, mergers & acquisitions and new equipment sales.

According to a report in the Marquette newspaper The Mining Journal, Kruschke died after he apparently slipped while using a chainsaw, cutting his throat and chest. The newspaper report does not name Kruschke as the victim, but describes him as a 44-year-old Chagrin Falls, Ohio, man who had a camp in Republic Township. He apparently was alone at the time of the accident, which was discovered by a gas truck driver who was making deliveries.

Kruschke was wearing protective clothing, but the chainsaw apparently slid under his headgear and face shield, police told the newspaper.

According to a biography on Stopol's website, Kruschke worked in the computer industry prior to helping to found Stopol. He was a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers and was involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Flashes of Hope. He also was active in wildlife and conservation groups, and sportsmen associations.

He lived in Chagrin Falls with his wife and their two children.

Click here to see a statement from Neil Kruschke Jr.'s brother, Donald.