Kaytee Founder Passes Away at 96

Founder of Kaytee Products was considered a pioneer in bird industry

William Dean Engler, founder and former owner of Kaytee, died peacefully at his Wisconsin home on Sunday, April 20, 2008. He is remembered for his advice and positive words of encouragement to his family and friends.

Engler, who was 96, first purchased the family-owned business, dating back to 1866 and originally known as Knauf and Tesch, in 1964. He renamed it Kaytee Products and is considered a pioneer in the industry for wild bird food and food for pet birds as well as small animals.

He sold Kaytee to his children in 1981 and remained President of the company until 1984. Engler served on the Kaytee Board of Directors until the company was sold to Central Garden and Pet in 1997.

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