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Merrell’s Jacques Lavertue Dead at 53

Jacques Lavertue, leader of the Merrell brand for more than a decade, died Saturday, Oct. 13 following an eight-month battle with cancer.

ATLANTA — A memorial service will be held for Jacques Lavertue, leader of the Merrell brand for more than a decade, at Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Services in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 11 a.m. Lavertue, 53, died Saturday, Oct. 13, at his home in Grand Rapids, following an eight-month battle with cancer.

Lavertue joined Wolverine World Wide in 1997 as head of the Merrell brand. Most recently, he was president and general manager of The Outdoor Group at Merrell, consisting of the Merrell, Sebago and Patagonia footwear brands, and he was an integral part of the company’s senior management team. Outside of work, his many hobbies included skiing, cycling, golf, hockey, cars and motorcycles.

Blake Krueger, Wolverine World Wide CEO and president, said of Lavertue, “Jacques’ dedication to the Merrell brand and his ability to build one of the strongest global brand teams in the industry drove the business from $27 million in 1997 to the more than $450 million dollar global lifestyle brand it is today. His friendship, leadership and passion for life will always be remembered by those who were lucky enough to work with and learn from him.”

He is survived by his wife, Caroline; son, Alexander; sister, Lise, and father, Armand. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation (Pediatric Oncology) in Grand Rapids.