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He was When the company shut down the mill, he joined a group that bought the equipment and founded Jeld-Wen in The company grew from 15 employees to 20, with operations in 20 countries, to become one of the biggest privately held firms in Oregon. As the company grew, Wendt continued to live in an unpretentious ranch house on a hillside overlooking Klamath Falls.
Jeld-Wen founder Dick Wendt, one of Oregon's wealthiest and most prominent businessmen, died Saturday. The first obituary I saw of him, in the Klamath Falls Herald and Newscorrectly focused on his business successes and large charitable giving, both in Oregon and in the rest of the country. But Wendt was also an important political donor in the state.
Advanced Search. Richard L. By the s, the company was the largest maker of windows and doors in the world.
Wendt, who died in Portland Saturday at 79, overcame shyness to make his company a household name, lived frugally despite immense wealth and gave millions to conservative and community causes. He harbored a dream of full national employment, quietly assembling a network of temp agencies that hired tens of thousands. The Klamath Falls resident died at OHSU Hospital of complications after a stroke, a company official said -- two months before the 50th anniversary celebrations planned for Jeld-Wen.