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Ron Joyce (1930-2019), cofounder of Tim Hortons donut chain

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Canadian restaurateur dies at 88

Ron Joyce was the co-founder of the popular Canadian donut chain Tim Hortons. Hockey legend Tim Horton opened the first modest location in Hamilton, Ontario in 1964, but it was only after Joyce became his partner the following year that the small shop began to expand into a donut empire. Joyce eventually built the business up to become Canada's largest fast food chain, with thousands of restaurants across the globe. After selling Tim Hortons to Wendy's in the 1990s, Joyce remained involved as the company's largest shareholder. 

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Died: January 31, 2019 (Who else died on January 31?

Details of death: Died at home in Burlington, Ontario at the age of 88. 

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A crusader for children: Joyce famously built himself up from an impoverished childhood to great business success, and he never forgot the challenges of his early years. He made it his mission later in life to help the children of Canada. He founded the Tim Horton Children's Foundation, which sends thousands of children to camp each year. Later, he established the Joyce Family Foundation, which provides access to education by offering scholarships to young people in need. In 1992, he was honored by being named as a member of the Order or Canada in recognition of his work on behalf of the country's children. 

Notable quote: “Whatever you can, help. Giving can be many things. It can be money or just of your time, but all of it is very worthwhile, in my opinion.” —Joyce on philanthropy in a 2016 interview with the Association of Fundraising Professionals 

What people said about him: “My father had a big vision and a big heart. Through hard work, determination and drive, he built one of the most successful restaurant chains in Canada. He never forgot his humble beginnings.” —Joyce's son, Steven Joyce, in a statement 

“He was most interested in making sure our students have the best experience the university could offer and helping children from all backgrounds benefit from the opportunity to learn and become a part of the university community. He was enthusiastic and committed to making a difference in so many ways and he will be greatly missed.” —Patrick Deane, president of McMaster University 

Full obituaryThe Globe and Mail  

Related lives

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Herb Kelleher (1931 - 2019), co-founder of Southwest Airlines   

Jimmy Dean (1928 - 2019), country music legend and founder of the Jimmy Dean Meat Co.   

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