Joseph Wilf, the father of Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf, passed away Wednesday. He was 91.
A native of Poland, Joseph and his family were deported by Russian forces to a Siberian labor camp during World War II. After the war ended, Joseph Wilf fled Poland for the portion of Germany occupied by American forces. In 1950, Joseph and his bride immigrated to the United States.
Four years later, Joseph Wilf and his brother, Harry, founded a real estate development company named Garden Homes. It grew into one of the largest real estate operations in the United States and Israel. In 2005, Zygi and Mark Wilf purchased the Vikings.
“It’s incredibly inspiring to think about what Joseph Wilf overcame through tremendous courage,” Vikings COO Kevin Warren said. “He became a visionary leader in business who had in his heart a love for helping others. Joseph passed along to his sons, Zygi and Mark, the importance of family values, including through the enjoyment of New York Giants football games at Yankee Stadium. Those special moments inspired Zygi and Mark to become owners of the Vikings and have shaped their stewardship of this franchise.”
Joseph Wilf is survived by Elizabeth, his wife of 67 years, sons Zygi and Mark, their spouses, nine grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. We extend our condolences to Joseph Wilf’s family, friends, and colleagues.