Obituary – Heinz G. Wille

Heinz Wille died in February 1999.


I am very sad to bring news that Heinz Wille died in Hamburg during February, shortly after he was found to be suffering from cancer.  He was not yet  60 years old.


One way or another, Heinz had been involved with the Sea Containers Group for over a quarter of a century.


His first involvement, in the early 1970s, was with Fuhrmann Nissle of Hamburg, owners of the Sea Containers agency in Brazil.  Later, as its manager, he lived in Rio de Janeiro.


Heinz Wille then became European Manager for Trafpak from its acquisition by Sea Containers until its sale to Tiphook in 1989.  By dint of sound commercial management and the rationalisation of the European offices into one in Rotterdam, he enabled the company to turn a loss of over one million dollars a year into a modest profit.


Subsequently he became European Manager for the Brazilian shipping line Transroll, an important GE SeaCo customer.


Heinz was by nature a “private” person.  His ome with his wife Ursula and their two sons, Andreas and Anske, was very much the focus of his life, and it was his adherence in business to decent family values that made him such a splendid colleague.


Amongst many fine traits, his integrity was beyond reproach; he was loyal, he was thorough, he was hardworking.  He was also a competent businessman and a fine linguist, with fluent English and Portuguese as well as his native German, and a good command of Spanish.


In 1992, when he was assisting my company Masterlight to provide advisory services to Transroll, they demonstrated their confidence in Heinz by offering him a full time job to run their activities in Europe.  He was still with Transroll until shortly before his death.


A good man has left us.  Our thoughts go out to Ursula and her family.


By Tom Avenell

(first published in GE SeaCo newsletter of Spring 1999)