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Des Moines, Iowa -- Tony Gentle, co-founder of the Kum & Go chain, died last Wednesday evening in Naples, Fla., after fighting cancer for many years.
Gentle, 92, and his son-in-law, William Krause, started the Hampton Oil Co. in Hampton, Iowa in 1959. The company was eventually renamed Krause Gentle Corp. and moved to West Des Moines. Along with the convenience stores, the company also operates Liberty Banks and Solar Transport.
"I personally lost the very best partner," said Krause, who is married to Gentle's daughter, Nancy.
Kyle Krause, Gentle's grandson and Kum & Go's chief executive, said the two men had a perfect business and personal relationship. "Tony's retail and merchandising talents combined with Bill's entrepreneurial vision" were what made the partnership successful, Kyle Krause said.
Gentle and William Krause operated the chain of gas stations, which eventually were named Kum & Go, and the company has about 445 convenience stores in 13 states.
Gentle is survived by his wife, Mary Angela, daughter, three grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Iowa Falls. Visitation will be held at the church at 5 p.m. Wednesday.