Metro Detroit auto dealer Jack Demmer dies at 93

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Jack Demmer grew up helping his father sell cars from his home in Detroit in the 1930s.

DETROIT — Longtime metro Detroit auto dealer John E. “Jack” Demmer died Tuesday. He was 93. 

His Jack Demmer Automotive Group, which includes a Ford dealership in Wayne, Mich., and a Lincoln dealership and a collision shop in nearby Dearborn, is on its third generation of family ownership and operation.

Demmer grew up helping his father sell cars from his home in Detroit in the 1930s before joining the U.S. Navy during World War II, according to the Jack Demmer Ford website. After the war, he returned to sell cars and enrolled at Wayne State University.

With a friend, Demmer opened an Edsel dealership with a one-car showroom in 1957 in Nankin Township before moving to its current location in Wayne in 1969. Demmer acquired the entire dealership in 1975, naming it Jack Demmer Ford.

Demmer expanded his business into Jack Demmer Automotive Group in 1998, opening a Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Farmington. Soon after he bought the Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Dearborn, one of the largest in the country, relocated the Farmington dealership to a separate Dearborn location, and opened a collision shop.

Demmer is survived by his wife of 68 years, Margaret; his children Patricia Groszko, Susan Hermann, Bill Demmer, Jim Demmer, Marianne Nelson and Jean Zick; 21 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Arrangements are being handled by Hackett-Metcalf Funeral Home in Dearborn and John N. Santeiu & Son Funeral Home in Garden City.

Visitation is set at Hackett-Metcalf Funeral Home 2-6 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Thursday and 1-5 p.m and 6-9 p.m. Friday with a rosary at 7 p.m.

Funeral services are set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Divine Child Catholic Church in Dearborn. 

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