Henry Nagy, founder of Spancrete Industries, died recently at the age of 100. Although born in the United States, he moved to Hungary as a young child to be raised by his grandmother. Returning to the U.S. at 19, unable to speak English and with $8 in his pocket, Nagy eventually made his way to Milwaukee, where he founded Spancrete Industries, maker of concrete-related products.
Nagy was known as an innovator and entrepreneur in the concrete industry. He also once owned Genesee Aggregate, which included mining operations to supply gravel to Spancrete, but turned that company over to his daughter, Elaine Kraut in 1980. Nagy founded West Allis Concrete Products in 1946 and in 1953 brought a precast concrete manufacturing machine from Germany to the United States and built the foundation of the company he called Spancrete. The company has since grown through more than three generations, working on notable Milwaukee-area landmarks and roadways such as the Bradley Center, the Pettit National Ice Center and the recently completed Marquette Interchange project.
Nagy is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Steve Kraut, daughter-in-law Bonnie Nagy, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.