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Doris Schnuck and her husband, Donald, turned a corner grocery store in St. Louis into a regional supermarket chain bearing their name that today boasts 100 stores in five states.
After passing stewardship of the company to their children, Schnuck, 88, died May 11 at her home in Clayton, Mo., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. She had recently been in failing health, according to Lori Willis, company spokesperson.
After marrying her husband in December 1944 while he was on leave from the Navy, Schnuck managed one of the first Schnucks stores, in St. Louis' Walnut Park neighborhood, while her husband served in World War II. The family business began before the war, when Edwin Schnuck opened a wholesale meat business. He and his wife were joined later by their three children and their spouses; Donald was the couple’s third child. By 1947, the four families had opened seven stores. Donald and Doris sold their store to help finance the building of a major supermarket in Brentwood.
Donald Schnuck became president of Schnuck Markets Inc. in 1970 and chairman in 1984; he died in 1991 at age 69. Their children now run the company: Scott Schnuck is chairman and CEO; Todd Schnuck is president and COO; Craig Schnuck is chairman of the executive committee; and Mark Schnuck is president of Desco Group, the company's real estate operation.
Doris Schnuck supported the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the Children’s Tumor Foundation, the St. Louis Zoo and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. The Children’s Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden is named for her, the P-D reported.