SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Dec. 13, 2016) — Wilma Veldman, co-founder of Tire Rack Inc. with her late husband Peter Veldman, died Dec. 12 at age 89.
A native of Vorden, Netherlands, Ms. Veldman emigrated to the U.S. in 1952 with her husband, and they settled in the South Bend area, working with the Sisters of St. Francis in Mishawaka, Ind.
They later moved to South Bend and operated a series of businesses with Mr. Veldman's siblings before founding Tire Rack, originally a traditional retail tire store, together with their son-in-law Mike Joines.
The Veldmans refocused Tire Rack on the mail-order/wholesale tire business in 1982, which then evolved into the familiar online business known today.
The Veldmans sold their minority share in the company in 2005 to focus their time and efforts on their charitable interests, the family said in 2014 when Mr. Veldman died.
Ms. Veldman is survived by six of the couple's seven children: Thomas (Anita) Veldman; David (Linda) Veldman; Connie (Michael) Joines; Sharon (Matthew) Edmonds; Marcia Veldman; and Mark (Nicole Schonemann) Veldman; and 20 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years and daughter Audrey.