Don Hellwig, who co-founded Hellwig Suspension Products in 1946 alongside his late father, Rudy Hellwig, passed away at the age of 91, the company announced.
An innovator with a passion for the automotive industry, Don Hellwig helped develop the company’s signature products, helper springs and sway bars. During his tenure as president of Hellwig Products, Don Hellwig transitioned the company from a father-and-son door-to-door sales operation into the company it is today. Don Hellwig took the company to the inaugural SEMA show at Dodger Stadium in 1967, and the company has attended every year since. His granddaughter, Melanie Hellwig White, who is president of Hellwig Products, currently serves on SEMA’s Board of Directors.
Don Hellwig was an avid RVer who frequently traveled the country with his wife, often living up to half the year in their RV during retirement. A hard worker his entire life, Don Hellwig would often step out of his office and onto the factory floor to help team members bend steel. Even in retirement, Don Hellwig regularly visited the factory floor. Several members of the Hellwig Products team worked alongside Don Hellwig for decades.
“He loved our customers and was dedicated to always improving our products to create a better experience for them,” said Melanie Hellwig White. “We look forward to continuing his legacy of love for our customers and our team as well as innovation and passion for the automotive industry.”
“My dad was fearless when it came to business. If he believed in a plan, a process or a person he was all in to assure success,” said Mark Hellwig, son of Don Hellwig and current CFO of Hellwig Products. “Above all, he believed his greatest asset was the people he surrounded himself with, in business and in his personal life.”
Don Hellwig is survived by his wife of 69 years, three children, 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, as well as countless extended family members, friends and colleagues. The entire Hellwig Products team will continue to honor Don Hellwig and operate the company according to the values and principles he stood for.