Construction, auto racing businessman Floyd Ganassi Sr. dies
Floyd R. Ganassi Sr., who amassed a fortune in the construction industry while helping his son build one of the most powerful IndyCar Series teams in history, died on Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, after a short illness.
He was 87.
Mr. Ganassi, a longtime Fox Chapel resident, played an integral role in starting the auto racing career of his son, Floyd R. “Chip” Ganassi Jr.
The elder Ganassi was an influential businessman in Western Pennsylvania, serving as president of New Kensington-based Davison Sand and Gravel Co. for about 20 years and forming FRG Group in RIDC Park North.
“He was a great guy,” said Chip Ganassi, owner of IndyCar Series and NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series teams. “He never missed a day of offering advice or an opportunity to teach you a lesson, even up to the last few weeks.”
Mr. Ganassi had been hospitalized for almost three weeks after accompanying his son to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, where Chip Ganassi Racing captured its fourth consecutive IndyCar Series win. He died in UPMC Shadyside.
“We had a great relationship,” said the younger Ganassi, a former open-wheel driver. “He was all business, but we enjoyed our lives together.”
“It is with heavy hearts that everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing Teams offers our condolences to Chip Ganassi and the whole Ganassi family on the passing today of Chip's father, Floyd Ganassi,” the organization said in a statement. “Everyone that knew Floyd knew that he was beloved at racetracks all across the country and leaves a long trail of great friends. Floyd Ganassi will be sorely missed by us all.”
Mr. Ganassi was born the fourth of six children to Paul Ganassi and Dora Moire in Blythedale in Elizabeth Township on July 25, 1926.
He was a self-employed investor who began his career as a paperboy. After attending McKeesport High School, he joined the Army in 1944 during World War II and achieved the rank of corporal in the 3rd Armored Division.
Mr. Ganassi served on boards for MIMS, Passavant Hospital, the Birmingham Foundation, the Ganassi Foundation, Family House, Duquesne University, Board of Visitors of the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, and the Civic Light Opera.
He was known for his charity work with the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Automobile Association, where he was chairman for several years. He was a member of the Allegheny Club, Duquesne Club and the Pittsburgh Field Club.
Mr. Ganassi was preceded in death by his wife, Marie Moia Ganassi; brothers, Mario, Eugene and Ronald; and sister, Norma Oldham.
In addition to his son, Mr. Ganassi is survived by his daughter, Annette D. Ganassi; brother, Victor; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in John A. Freyvogel Sons funeral home, 4900 Centre Ave. at Devonshire Street in Shadyside. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Big plays cost Steelers defense in 43-19 preseason loss at Bills
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin mum on Bryant suspension
- Rossi: Beleaguered Steelers need MVP from Big Ben
- Happ’s strong start, Ramirez’s homer pace Pirates past Rockies
- QB Vick hits ground running in debut
- Butler organization seeks answers for unexplained phenomena
- Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
- Starting 9: Pirates place renewed emphasis on nabbing base-stealers
- Biertempfel: Pittsburgh native faced quick learning curve as Marlins GM
- Pitt’s cancer institute marks 30 years with eye toward future
- Exclusive to the Trib: Lift the oil export ban? Think again