Died this Tuesday (13), businessman Abílio Pinto Gontijo, 98 years old, founder of Empresa Gontijo de Transportes, one of the main road transport groups in Brazil. His wake will be held from 2 pm this Wednesday (14), at Parque da Colina, in the Nova Cintra neighborhood, in the western region of Belo Horizonte.
The Brazilian Association of Land Transport Companies for Passengers issued a note about the death. “The Brazilian Association of Land Passenger Transport Companies announces with great regret the death of Mr. Abilio Gontijo, founder and director of the company Gontijo de Transportes, one of the pioneers and builders of the Brazilian road sector. One of the pioneers and builders of the road sector Brazilian, an opportunity in which we regret and express our solidarity with family and friends for the irreparable loss”, wrote the association.
Abílio Gontijo was born in the rural area of Carmo do Paranaíba, in Alto Paranaíba. He began his career at the age of 19, when he bought a “jardineira” and started transporting passengers from Carmo do Paranaíba to Patos de Minas.
In 1949 the company moved to Patos de Minas and started to make connections with Belo Horizonte. In 1960, the company started operating in the capital of Minas Gerais and only grew until it became an exponent of land transport in Brazil.
Read the note sent by the company in Full:
Empresa Gontijo de Transportes Ltda regrets to communicate the death of its founder, Mr. Abílio Pinto Gontijo. He left last night, 9/13/2022, at the age of 98, due to natural causes, at his residence in Belo Horizonte, surrounded by his family. Loved and respected by all, Mr. Abílio leaves 8 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His body will be veiled today, from 2:30 pm to 5 pm and tomorrow, from 9 am to 1 pm, in chapel 2 of Parque da Colina Cemetery, where he will be buried.
With only 19 years of age, in 1943, Abílio Gontijo founded in Carmo do Paranaíba-MG, what is today one of the largest transport companies in Brazil. He was proud to say that the company, now run by his sons, started with just one vehicle – a 1940 Chevrolet Commercial planter, which he drove, in addition to cleaning it after each trip, and also accumulating the function of ticket collector.
A tireless entrepreneur, he got around every problem in those difficult times of the Second World War: with the rationing of gasoline in Brazil, he bought alcohol at a plant and, knowing mechanics, adapted and adjusted the gardener’s engine for the new fuel. The company, which bears his surname, first grew in Minas Gerais and then expanded throughout Brazil, becoming one of the largest and most relevant in the sector.
Affable, always treating everyone as his collaborators, Mr. Abílio, as he was called, already old, maintained his daily presence in the company, along with his children and grandchildren, as long as his health allowed. He leaves, as a legacy to everyone who knew him and who had the privilege of living with him, his mark of seriousness, work and respect that made him an example to be followed throughout the country.