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Crackerbox Food Stores Founder Passes Away

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Lewis M. Gardner, Jr., the founder of Crackerbox Food Stores, passed away on Dec. 22. He was 71.

Also known as Boss Hogg, Gardner was born in Waycross, Ga., before making his home in Arkansas. He served in the U.S. Airforce from 1962 to 1965 and was stationed in Germany, according to the Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Home Inc. 

After serving in the U.S. Airforce, Gardner founded the Crackerbox Food Stores, Gardner Oil Co. and Screaming Eagle Transport. 

Crackerbox Food Stores was a 29-store chain in Arkansas. He sold the convenience stores to Valero Retail Holdings in 2012, as CSNews Online previously reported

"We served the market for 40 years. In our consideration of buyers, we felt Valero was the best fit for our customers and employees. We want to take this opportunity to thank our customers and employees," Gardner said at the time of the sale.

He is survived by his wife, Rhonda Gardner; sons, Charles Wayne Gardner and his wife Annette Gardner, and Lewis Ray Gardner and wife Lora Smith-Gardner; five grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and brothers Larry Gardner and his wife Teddy, and Alan Lane Gardner and his wife Jacqueline.

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