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KILLEEN, Texas –- Tommy Schroeder, president and CEO of Mickey's Convenience Stores, passed away from heart failure on Aug. 28. He was 73.
Schroeder's parents opened the first Mickey's in 1955, and he took over the business after they retired, reported the Killeen Daily Herald. He then opened his first chain store in 1965. The Killeen-based company now has 17 locations in central Texas.
Mickey's will continue to keep Schroeder's legacy and brand alive, according to his daughter Karen Walinder, vice president of the family-owned company. "We are very much alike. There were days that it was extremely challenging and yet it was gratifying because we were able to help the family and carry on the business," Walinder said. "We had many long-term employees. It's gratifying to be able to continue his work and [the] legacy of what he started."
One such long-term employee, Laverne Wallace, has worked for Mickey's since 1968. She told the news outlet that Schroeder allowed her to arrange her schedule around the care of her four children and take summers off to be with them.
Walinder will take over the business moving forward. "He helped me take more risks and showed me it was OK to step out there," she said. "There's a long list of stuff he taught me and work ethic was certainly one of them."
Family visitation will take place at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen today from 6 to 8 p.m. The funeral service will take place at the Lifeway Fellowship Church on Saturday at 10 a.m.