BUFFALO, Mo. — Funeral services were held Monday for Donald C. Woods, 94, the founder of Woods Supermarkets, who died here Friday.


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After returning from World War II with a Purple Heart, he opened his first store, called Woods & Volner General Store, in 1947 in Long Lane, Mo. He became a customer of Associated Wholesale Grocers a year later, though it took him three months to pay the $300 to join the member-owned cooperative "[because] times were tough," he once recalled. "The only way to pay the bills was to work hard and not spend any money that wasn't absolutely necessary. That partnership [with AWG] proved to be one of the best investments our company ever made."

Read more: Woods Expands With Larger Store, New Openings

He sold the original store in 1951 and opened the first Woods Supermarket here — a 2,400-square-foot store that competed with seven other markets in a town of 1,200.

Woods Supermarkets operates nine stores today, with eight in Missouri and one in Kansas.

He is survived by his son, Don Woods Jr.; his daughter-in-law Joan; three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

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