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SAGINAW, Mich. -- Ron Fountain, executive vice president of Saginaw, Mich.-based Garb-Ko Inc., died Sunday, Sept. 8 of an apparent heart attack.
Fountain was involved with the convenience store industry for his entire career, starting with 7-Eleven Inc. in 1971 after his graduation from the University of Maryland. Moving to Garb-Ko in the late 1980s, Fountain served the organization in positions spanning store operations, franchising, marketing, training and real estate.
Garb-Ko operates 109 7-Eleven convenience stores.
"Ron was a pillar of the convenience industry," said Dan Abraham, president of Garb-Ko. "He lived it 24 hours a day. He was a man of the highest integrity and expected this same standard of all who worked with and for him. He was by my side through the many unfortunate and sudden tragedies this organization has had to endure.
"Ron always led by example; he expected nothing of his followers that he would not do himself. He was our eternal optimist. He will be missed by many people at Garb-Ko, but no one will miss him more than me."
An avid runner, Fountain was apparently struck with a heart attack while training for the October Marine Corp. Marathon. He is survived by his wife, Wanda; sons Steven and Brian; and stepdaughter Kimberly.