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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Industrialist John E. "Jack" Irving, who with his brothers helped build the family company into an economic powerhouse in Eastern Canada, has died, the family said on Wednesday.
Irving, 78, who died in Saint John, New Brunswick, after a brief illness, joined the family's J.D. Irving Ltd. with his brothers in 1952 as it grew into an empire that ranged from energy to forestry, construction, food processing and a railroad.
"Today is a very sad day for me as we mourn the passing of my brother Jack. Jack was a great brother and friend," James K. Irving said in a brief message posted on the company's website.
Jack Irving, who headed the family's construction and engineering operations, was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2007 in honor of his business development and philanthropic work in Atlantic Canada.
Reporting Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson