The founding family

Ingenuity, motivation and community spirit – the three principles of life for the Opländer family 

The Opländer family of entrepreneurs and philanthropists in Dortmund can look back on more than 140 years of private enterprise – a long tradition that all started with Caspar Ludwig Opländer. WILO SE was recently transferred by its fourth generation leader, Dr.-Ing. h.c. Jochen Opländer and his children, Claudia Reisbeck, Jan Opländer and Felix Opländer (✝), into a family foundation. In doing so, they not only ensured the continuity of WILO SE across the generations but also demonstrated their on-going social responsibility in the areas of science, education, culture and sport and their commitment to preserving and upholding cultural values. 

The four generations of the Opländer family

Caspar Ludwig Opländer, (known as ‘Louis’)

26 February 1845 to 10 October 1891

The man who gave the foundation its name was a coppersmith journeyman, who in 1872 founded his own copper and brass factory ‘Kupfer- und Messingwarenfabrik Louis Opländer’.

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Louis Opländer

7 March 1873 to 18 May 1962

The life’s work of manufacturer Louis Opländer included many technical innovations, like the machine he developed shortly after the turn of the century to standardise barrel sizes. 

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Wilhelm Opländer

11 July 1901 to 6 February 1984

To this day, the name Wilhelm Opländer stands for technical innovations in heating and air-conditioning (the ‘Louis Opländer’ firm), and in the more recently developed pump business (the company name ‘WILO’ being a contraction of Wilhelm Opländer). 

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Dr.-Ing. h. c. Jochen Opländer

Children: Claudia Reisbeck, Jan Opländer and Felix Opländer (✝)

Dortmund entrepreneur and benefactor, Dr.-Ing. h.c. Jochen Opländer founded the Wilo-Foundation (prev. Caspar Ludwig Opländer Stiftung) in January 2011 together with his three children, Claudia Reisbeck, Jan Opländer (owner of the Louis Opländer heating company, Heizungs- und Klimatechnik GmbH) and Felix Opländer (✝).

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