Augie Nieto, one of Orange County’s most inspiring business executives known for his work in searching for a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) after being diagnosed with the disease in 2005, has died. He was 65.
Shortly after his passing on Wednesday, Augie’s wife and Augie’s Quest co-founder, Lynne, shared his final words with intimate friends. Here is that statement:
“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever” — Winnie the Pooh
If you are reading this, then that day has come….
As hard as it is to leave my dear friends and family behind, I know that my fight is not over. I have battled ALS for almost 18 years. Physically, ALS has finally taken my body, but my battle to rid the world of this insidious disease will continue.
I know that I have a lot to be thankful for. I was luckier than most, and was able to enjoy those close to me longer than so many friends with ALS. I am thankful for my family, as I count them as the finest achievement of my life. I am thankful for my friends who stayed by my side and were a constant reminder of how precious life is, in spite of its difficulties.
Please keep me in your hearts…please help continue the progress of Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS. Please help Lynne to carry on the mission – the second finest achievement of my life. Because I will be in your heart, I will get to experience the joy when we discover a cure.
Thank you for making my life better, by virtue of being in it!
Forever in your heart,
“Augie passed peacefully yesterday surrounded by his beloved wife, Lynne, his family and loved ones,” a Thursday statement from Augie’s Quest—the nonprofit founded by Augie and Lynne to combat ALS—said.
Augie’s Quest has raised nearly $200 million for ALS research.
Augie founded Life Fitness, a Rosemont, Ill.-based maker of products for gyms and health clubs, in the 1970s, and ran the company for decades. He was brought back in 2020 as an investor and strategic partner.
He celebrated his 65th birthday on Feb. 15, a notable feat; he was diagnosed with ALS when in his 40s.
Augie is survived by wife Lynne and their four children, as well as their eight grandchildren.
See the March 6 print edition of the Business Journal for more on Augie, his life and his work:
Fitness Mogul Augie Nieto’s Fight Against ALS Lives On