KITCHENER -- Vernon Erb, who built one of the country’s biggest transportation companies, died Wednesday morning at the age of 84.

The New Hamburg man had been battling an aggressive form of leukemia.

On May 1 the Erb family wanted to pay tribute to Vernon’s life work by organizing a convoy of transportation trucks. They had planned a small drive-by but that all changed once word spread through the trucking community. Hundreds of drivers took part in the convoy to honour Vernon and his legacy.

“I’m overwhelmed,” he told CTV News at the time. “I had no idea. I heard they were going to have a parade, but I had no idea what it’s all about. I just can’t believe that people came from all over. And I don’t think I’m a very special person, but some people must have thought so.”

In the following weeks Vernon’s condition worsened and he was receiving palliative care.

His wife Viola Erb says the family had a chance to say goodbye to Vernon in his final days and he passed away peacefully at home.

A release, sent to employees of Erb Group, says: “We will always remember our founder by his kindness, integrity and exceptional work ethic. He will be missed by all those who were fortunate enough to have known him.”

The Erb family has not yet released details on Vernon’s Celebration of Life.