Within a week, Michigan has lost two very important business leaders and humanitarians who have become icons in their respective businesses and were generous contributors to metropolitan Detroit, the state, and beyond.
Dominic S. Moceri, legendary homebuilder whose corporate headquarters is located in Auburn Hills, passed away at the age of 86. Art Van Elslander, Founder of Art Van Furniture, passed away at the age of 87. Both men built businesses that have become household names and built reputations for their significant generosity.
I met Mr. Moceri only a few times, but know his sons Dominic and Mario far better. He was the patriarch of the family and will always be remembered for the positive impact he has had in our area. No doubt some of the most beautiful neighborhoods around have the Moceri name on them. His legacy is not just home building, it’s giving back to the greater community that he called home.
Art’s passing has more of a family connection for me. Art was my cousin. I only got to know him less than twenty years ago. He shared stories about his youth and remembered back when he and my Dad were childhood playmates. Our families came here from Belgium, mine would find its way directly to Detroit; his went first to Canada and then settled in Detroit. I got to know him a little better over the years and was invited to a number of special events he held. It was an honor to get to know him and it was particularly exciting to be able to visit with him when he opened an Art Van Furniture Store at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills. In the picture above, my wife and I were attending an event where Art was being honored as Belgian-American of the year. He was always very proud of our Belgian heritage and for this event, he personally called and asked me to be there. Oh, and one other item of credit I have to give him. He introduced me to his friend, supermodel Cindy Crawford.
All of us at the City of Auburn Hills pay tribute to Dominic S. Moceri and Art Van Elslander. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time.
Tom Tanghe, City Manager