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TULSA, Okla. — The convenience store industry lost a giant Monday night when Chester Cadieux, co-founder of QuikTrip Corp., passed away at the age of 84.
According to NewsOn6.com, Cadieux died peacefully at his home in Tulsa. "Chester's vision, keen wit, insistence on fairness, and marvelous ability to mentor people will never be forgotten," the company said in a statement.
The statement added Cadieux considered himself to be luckier than smart. He said his secret was to hire good people and promote from within.
Cadieux was the first retailer inducted to the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame in 1987.
"As one of the industry's founders and as leader of QuikTrip — which enjoys a reputation as a chain with high standards and integrity — Cadieux deserves this spot among the illustrious retailing deans of our time," wrote then-CSNews editor Denise Melinsky, comparing the convenience store leader to such retailing icons as Clarence Saunders, father of the modern supermarket, Stanley Marcus, the department store impresario, and Sam Walton, king of discount retailing.
Melinsky detailed many of Cadieux' accomplishments: he was the first to bring c-stores to Oklahoma and Iowa, and among the first to adopt self-serve gasoline, institute self-serve fast-food, brand products with a private label and test in-store automation.
Cadieux and Burt Holmes opened the first store in Tulsa in 1958. His son Chet Cadieux became president of QuikTrip in 2002. Today, Tulsa-based QuikTrip operates more than 700 convenience stores in 11 states.