Grady M. Chronister of Springfield passed away Friday (Sept. 14, 2018) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after a courageous fight with lymphoma. His wife, Linda, and his three daughters were by his side.
Grady was born in Henryetta, Okla., on Nov. 22, 1938. He was preceded in death by his parents, Hugh Grady and Alice Myers Chronister.
He is survived by his wife, Linda (Longworth) Chronister; his daughters, Wendy Chronister (Peter Rogers), Julie Chronister (Mark Myers), and Amy Ridley (John); and his grandchildren, Caroline and Carter Rogers, Wyatt Myers, and Emma and Grady Ridley.
Grady was a compassionate and generous father, husband, and friend to all who knew him. He was a man of integrity who treated everyone he met with respect, honesty, and humility. He was a competitive golfer and duplicate bridge player, and loved to spend time with his wife, children, and five grandchildren.
Grady was a graduate of Oklahoma State University, an Eagle Scout, an elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church, and former president and trustee of Springfield YMCA. He was also a trustee of Abraham Lincoln Boy Scout Council, supporter of UIS athletics, the arts, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and a former president of Illini Country Club.
Grady also contributed to many local and statewide non-profit organizations, and was a strong supporter of youth programs throughout the area.
Grady was an entrepreneur in the oil industry for 51 years. He began Chronister Oil with Derby Super Gas stores – a major sponsor of the Cardinals farm team. Grady was an innovator, securing the first “self-serve” permit in the state of Illinois. In fact, Gov. Jim Thompson was his first customer.
He sold the Super Gas chain in 1978 to Marathon Oil and built another chain, Future Gas, in several Midwestern states outside of Illinois. In 1980, Grady opened the first convenience store, Qik-n-EZ, in the state of Illinois, with locations today in Springfield and other central Illinois towns. His career included retail marketing, national wholesale fuel distribution, and oil trading on the New York Exchange.
He was a U.S. Army veteran.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Kirlin-Egan and Butler Funeral Home, 900 S. Sixth St., Springfield.
His funeral will be 11 a.m. Monday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 533 S. Walnut St., Springfield, with the Rev. Dr. Blythe Denham Kieffer officiating.
Private family burial will be at McLean Cemetery in McLean.
Memorial contributions may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 533 S. Walnut St., Springfield, IL 62704; Boy Scouts of America, Abraham Lincoln Council, Honor and Memorial Fund, 5231 S. Sixth St., Frontage Road E, Springfield, IL 62703; or Springfield YMCA, 701 S. Fourth St., Springfield, IL 62703.
Visit butlerfuneralhomes.com to offer your condolences.