By Associated Press - Sunday, September 14, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska businessman who built the regional grocery chain of B&R Stores died Saturday at the age of 92.

The funeral for Russ Raybould will be held Wednesday morning at 10:30 at Blessed Sacrament Church in Lincoln, according to the Butherus, Maser and Love Funeral Home.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports ( ) the chain of 18 grocery stores in Nebraska and Iowa that Raybould built started 50 years ago with a single Russ’ Market store just south of downtown Lincoln.

The company owns Russ’ Market, Super Saver, Apple Market and Save Best Foods stores in seven cities. About half of the company’s roughly 2,000 employees are part owners.

Kathy Siefken, executive director of the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association, said Raybould valued his employees and never forgot a name.

“If employees found themselves in rough personal situations, Russ would quietly help them get back on their feet,” said Siefken, who worked with Raybould for more than 20 years.

Raybould was born in Salt Lake City and served as a Merchant Marine during World War II. He graduated from Creighton University in Omaha before starting in the grocery business.

Raybould established B&R Stores with Clayton Burnett, a fellow Safeway alum. He later bought out Burnett in 1974.

Over the years, the grocery business has seen significant changes, including the development of warehouse style stores. Raybould’s son, Pat, who is the company’s top executive today said his father was an innovator who created the first frequent shopper card and was one of the first to stay open 24 hours.

B&R Stores has a long history of supporting local nonprofits. Raybould served on the Food Bank of Lincoln’s original board and was an active member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.

Raybould, who retired in 1997, once said he always enjoyed waiting on customers and meeting their needs.

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