Convenience Store Entrepreneur John Dan Gielen Passes Away
CROWLEY, La. — John Dan Gielen, founder of the Shop Rite and Tobacco Plus chains, passed away Feb. 14 after a battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 79 years old.
Gielen started Shop Rite in 1966, after borrowing money from his mother and his aunt, reported KLFY. He started Tobacco Plus in 1993.
Gielen was also the owner of Church Point Wholesale, which supplies products to convenience stores in six states.
In a 2016 interview, Gielen said that he loved the industry and lauded his employees for elevating the quality of his stores.
Gielen is survived by Peggy Angelle Gielen, his wife of 59 years, as well as four daughters and 20 grandchildren.
A funeral Mass will be held Feb. 16 at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Crowley.