Neil Kruschke Jr., former owner and CEO of plastics equipment dealer Stopol Inc. and its auction business, Stopol Auctions LLC, died Aug. 26 in a chainsaw accident in Republic Township, Mich., near Marquette. He was 44.
A memorial service will be held Sept. 8 at 5 p.m. at Our Lady Chapel at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio.
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 Donald and father Neil Sr. The firm started in the used-equipment business, and eventually moved into other areas including liquidations, auctions, mergers and acquisitions and new equipment sales.
Kruschke died after he apparently slipped while using a chainsaw, cutting his throat and chest. Kruschke apparently was alone at the time of the accident, which was discovered by a gas truck driver who was making a delivery to Kruschke's log home in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Kruschke was wearing protective clothing, but the chainsaw apparently slid under his headgear and face shield, police said.
Donald Kruschke issued a statement from the company about the accident.
It begins: “Words cannot express the shock and deep sorrow we feel in the aftermath of Neil's passing. While our family, our company and those who knew Neil grieve, we must also pause, reflect and celebrate the life of a remarkable man and philanthropist whose accomplishments in the business world are only eclipsed by his commitment to his family as a loving husband and caring father.”
A biography on Stopol's website said 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, Pamela, and their two children.