Visitors to Innovation Hills Park in Rochester Hills may notice a black ribbon over the entrance, which has been placed there in recognition of longtime community supporter and resident Steve Stolaruk.
Stolaruk, 91, died at his home on Monday, February 12. The ribbon is a fitting tribute to Stolaruk, whose Steve and Vivian Stolaruk Foundation in 2013 donated $1 million of in-kind services to the city to begin construction on the park.
Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan K. Barnett said Stolaruk's generosity and commitment to the protection of green infrastructure and the advancement of health-focused recreational opportunities unlocked the potential for the city's newest park.
"He was the first individual to believe in the park and saw the vision when no one else could" Barnett said. "He was a resident, business owner, community philanthropist but most importantly, he was my friend and I will miss him greatly."
Stolaruk was an entrepreneur who started Stolaruk Asphalt, Star-Batt Inc. and ConCorde Inn Hotels. He also developed several commercial and residential projects.
A native of Royal Oak who joined the United States Marine Corps in 1944, Stolaruk had a passion for music and philanthropy, according to his obituary information. He was one of the founding members of the Michigan Accordion Society and was active in many different organizations and charities.
Barnett said he was shocked and saddened by the news of Stolaruk's passing.
"Since the time I was elected mayor of Rochester Hills, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Steve," he said. "Over the past 10 years, I have found him to be a dynamic individual, passionate about life, his family and our community."