Michael C. Weigand, senior vice president of Wichita real estate company J.P. Weigand & Sons and longtime real estate professional, died Friday evening after suffering from failing health, a colleague said. He was 81.
Mr. Weigand’s career spanned more than half a century in the Wichita real estate industry. He joined J.P. Weigand & Sons, his grandfather’s firm, in 1956 after military service and later took part in Wichita’s evolution from downtown retail shopping to shopping centers.
Among his signature projects in Wichita are Normandie Shopping Center, Twin Lakes Shopping Center, Towne East Square and Towne West Square, Dawn Truman, J.P. Weigand & Sons president, said Saturday evening by phone.
“His leadership and involvement in our company, our industry – real estate – and the community has been instrumental to the success and growth of our firm,” Truman said.
She added: “He will be deeply, deeply missed by our entire company.”
During his career, Mr. Weigand was president of the Wichita Association of Realtors and director of both the local and Kansas associations of Realtors, according to the J.P. Weigand & Sons website. His experience ranged from residential and commercial sales and leasing to all phases of apartment development.
In 1987, Mr. Weigand received the Realtor of the Year award from the Wichita Metropolitan Area Association of Realtors. Twenty-two years later, he and his brother Nestor Weigand were honored with the Kansas Certified Commercial Investment Member chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mr. Weigand said at the time that, as a young man, he thought real estate sales would be “a simple thing.”
“I thought I was going to get into this business and sell every house in Wichita,” he told The Eagle in 2009. “But once I started, I didn’t sell one house, and I’m pretty sure my dad thought, ‘My God.’ ”
A week after he started, in 1957, he sold three.
“It got me turned around,” Mr. Weigand said in 2009. “I wasn’t involved romantically at the time, so I worked longer hours and got something good started.”
Mr. Weigand also was a former director of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce and former chairman of the metropolitan division of the United Way, according to the J.P. Weigand & Sons website. He also held memberships on the Greyhound Charities board of directors, with the Downtown Rotary Club and with the Wichita Crime Commission.
Funeral services are pending.