On the passing away of Josef Rettenmaier Sr. on March 23, 2022
Rosenberg, March 2022
'Senior wood miller' Josef Rettenmaier, co-founder and long-time managing director of today's JRS J. Rettenmaier & Söhne GmbH+Co.KG, Rosenberg, passed away on March 23, 2022.
Born in 1924 in his parents' wood mill, he established a special reputation far beyond the region as an innovative, courageous and far-sighted entrepreneurial personality. His personality exemplarily combines the Swabian character traits of diligence, inventiveness and perseverance. His modest manner and his open, humorous demeanor characterized his philosophy of life.
This was matched by his long-term, forward-looking way of thinking with ideas that were far ahead of his time. This was also the case with his courageous entrepreneurial decision in the early 1950s, together with his father Joseph and brother Otto, to turn the classic agricultural flour mill into a completely new form of industrial enterprise with new tasks - the J. Rettenmaier & Söhne OHG, from which today's globally active JRS group of companies was formed.
Josef Rettenmaier has always understood perfectly how to approach people - customers, employees, friends, in politics or in voluntary work. As a self-confessed family man, who himself grew up with three siblings in the extended mill family, he also shaped the JRS company as a large business family. Mutual responsibility and togetherness were very central values for him, which have been transferred to today's JRS. The well-being of the employees and the desire to always be able to offer the customers an active added value have always been the driving force and basis of his entrepreneurial work.
His life's work includes the expansion of the grain and oil mill founded in 1878 into one of the world's most efficient industrial companies in the field of innovative functional cellulose and plant fiber products. Today, JRS plant fiber technology is used in almost all industrial sectors and areas of life.
Josef Rettenmaier started his professional career with a rock-solid miller's apprenticeship, followed by further commercial training. During this time, he was actively involved at an early stage in the sometimes still very hard physical work in his parents' mill business. With a great deal of foresight, he succeeded as an accomplished, determined businessman in successfully growing the forward-looking, sustainable innovation field of plant fiber technology. This spirit continues to shape JRS a generation later, right up to the present day.
At the same time, as a creative insider with a great deal of practical knowledge, he was also always the technological driving force behind the company's development, which led, among other things, to the development of completely new types of processing equipment for cellulose fine fibers, which led to many product and application innovations.
Josef Rettenmaier was also active in many social, cultural, church and political organizations, institutions and initiatives. The parish of Hohenberg was his religious home. In addition to many honors, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Staufer Medal and the Business Medal of the State of Baden-Württemberg, and the Papal Order of St. Silvester.
Today, the JRS Group employs more than 3,500 people at over 90 production and sales locations worldwide. With its sustainable green JRS plant fiber technology, JRS is committed to health, nutrition and resource-saving technical applications in almost all areas of life. The independent, owner-managed JRS family business group has its headquarters firmly rooted in the community of Rosenberg in the Ostalbkreis district.
JRS senior boss Josef Rettenmaier Senior was buried on Saturday, 26.3.2022 under large sympathy by politicians and company family in the context of a festive service in Hohenberg.
For the many mourners, an outside broadcast was set up around the St. Jakobus church, in order to be able to participate in the service in corona-regulations and around the church. In addition to family and friends, JRS company staff, representatives from business and politics, associations and fellow citizens from the surrounding communities gathered to say goodbye.
The funeral service was held by Prelate Werner Redies, Pastor Harald Golla, retired Pastor Anton Eßwein and Father Jens Bartsch, together with the subsequent burial in the cemetery directly adjacent to the Church of St. James in Hohenberg.
In their greetings, as representatives from politics, church, economy and society, Prelate Werner Redies, MDL Winfried Mack, Mayor Schneider, for the associations Alois Maierhöfer, Richard Geitner for the Rotary Club Ellwangen and Pastor Golla for the church parish referred to the manifold activities and the high merits of the deceased as a successful entrepreneur and committed fellow citizen.
A detailed tribute from the circle of employees came from the former Chief Financial Officer Alfred Landkammer, who gave a multifaceted account of the entrepreneurial and human achievements of Josef Rettenmaier Sr. through the impressive development steps of the traditional flour mill to today's globally active JRS group of companies. Stages that he himself was able to describe from his own perspective over many years of working with Mr. Rettenmaier Sr. The local associations honored the deceased at the grave with a flag delegation. A scholar of the church choir and the Rosenberg music association provided a solemn setting.