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Remembering Detroit Business Leader Donald Epstein 

Donald Epstein was a man driven by his values, humility, compassion, and service to others. These values were on display at home and in the workplace as the CEO of Vesco Oil Corp., the Southfield-based company started by his father, Eugene, in 1947.

“He was my mentor,” said Lena Epstein, Donald’s daughter, a member of Vesco’s board and Detroit Regional Chamber board member. “He was also a daily source of inspiration. He’s certainly the kindest man I’ve ever known. It was through his clear leadership that he raised me and my sister to be the women we are today.”

Donald Epstein died on February 19, at age 76. Vesco Oil is a family-owned and -operated business, and Epstein served as the Chief Executive Officer from 1995 to 2020. The company has 227 employees across 10 locations in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Vesco Oil distributes branded automotive and industrial lubricants nationwide.

“My dad was an awesome, awesome man. He really set the bar high,” said Lilly Epstein Stotland, current Chief Executive Officer of Vesco Oil. “My dad was generous. He was amazingly intelligent. He was such a giving team player. He was a magnificent human being and an even better father.”

“He really not only cared deeply about his family and friends. He cared about the people at our company,” said Marjory Epstein, Donald’s wife of 50 years and chair of the Vesco board. “The people at Vesco were people he developed wonderful friendships with. He cared very much about what was going on in their personal lives. He’d call and wish them happy birthday. He took pride and pleasure in their accomplishments, and he took on their sadness and concerns.”

Donald Epstein began his career as an attorney with Southfield-based law firm Sommers, Schwartz, Silver and Schwartz before taking over the family business. Epstein graduated from Harvard College in 1966 and the University of Michigan in 1969 with a law degree.

Epstein is also survived by three grandchildren and a host of other family and friends.

“When it comes to being missed, Don Epstein is going to be missed by so many people in the business community and the Jewish community,” Lena Epstein said. “Dad touched lives. His legacy is everlasting.”

The family invites those who want to honor Epstein to make contributions to the following organizations:

· Yad Ezra, https://www.yadezra.org/donate/

· Hebrew Free Loan, http://www.hfldetroit.org

· Temple Beth El, https://www.tbeonline.org/donation-page

Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network, http://www.jewishhospice.org