Bil Mar Foods co-founder dies
De Witt was well known in western Michigan, as well as the poultry industry, for co-founding Bil Mar Foods with his brother, Bill in 1938. Family members said the brothers began with 17 turkeys in Bill’s barn in Borculo, Mich., and grew the business into one of the nation’s largest turkey processors.
Bil Mar company employed as many as 2,400 people in Michigan, Iowa and Ohio, shipped product worldwide and achieved annual sales of $200 million. Sara Lee Corporation purchased the company in 1987.
“The Request Foods’ team members and their families are grateful to Marvin for the opportunity to carry on part of his legacy from the convenience foods portion of Bil Mar Foods,” said De Witt’s son Jack De Witt, 68, president of Request Foods, Inc., Holland, Mich. “We are inspired by the opportunities and jobs that Marvin helped to create as well as his dedication to strengthening families and the community.”
Family members say Marvin De Witt’s greatest joy came from time spent with his family. He is survived by his wife, Jerene, of 72 years; seven children, 23 grandchildren and 62 great-grandchildren.