Chronister Oil Founder Grady M. Chronister Passes Away
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Grady M. Chronister, founder of Chronister Oil and entrepreneur in the convenience and gas industry for more than half a century, died Sept. 14. He was 79 years old.
A graduate of Oklahoma State University, Chronister served as a Captain in the United States Army and retired from the Army Reserves. He founded Chronister Oil with Derby Super Gas stores in 1967. After selling the Super Gas chain to Marathon Oil in 1978, he founded the chain Future Gas, which operated in multiple Midwestern states. Known as an innovator, Chronister secured the first self-serve permit within the state of Illinois, according to his obituary.
Chronister opened the first Qik-n-EZ convenience store in Illinois in 1980. Today, 12 Qik-n-EZ stores operate in central Illinois. Chronister's career also included experience in retail marketing, national wholesale fuel distribution, and oil trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Outside of his professional career, Chronister was an Elder in the Westminster Presbyterian Church, a trustee of the Abraham Lincoln Boy Scout Council, a former president of Illini Country Club and a former President and Trustee of the Springfield YMCA. He supported University of Illinois Springfield athletics, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and many local and state-wide nonprofit organizations, including youth programs.
Chronister is survived by his wife Linda Chronister; his daughters Wendy and Julie Chronister, and Amy Ridley; and his grandchildren Carter Rogers, Wyatt Myers, and Emma and Grady Ridley.
Funeral services were held Sept. 17 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield.