Roy Furr (1907 — June 13, 1975) was the president of the Furr's chain of supermarkets and restaurants. He was born in McKinney, Texas. As a boy he worked for his father at the Kirkland Mercantile Company in Kirkland in Childress County, Texas. He studied at Clarendon College in Clarendon, Texas, and the University of Oklahoma at Norman.
He taught school until 1923, when he rejoined his father in Amarillo to launch the Furr Food Store. In 1929 he moved to Lubbock, where he bought six grocery stores, the beginning of the chain. Furr's, Inc., grew rapidly, and at the time of the founder's death it included sixty-eight supermarkets, as well as family centers in three states, fifty-seven cafeterias in seven states, and a realty company in Lubbock.
Furr was the chairman of the board of Farm Pac Kitchens, Rore Realty Company, and Crone Oil Company, all companies that he established as he branched out from his supermarket business. He also served as a director of the First National Bank of Lubbock. He was on the boards of regents of Texas Tech University, Lubbock Christian College, and McMurry College in Abilene, Texas. In 1961, McMurry gave him an honorary doctorate.
Furr thought that the highest honor he ever received was the Great Americanism Award, which he accepted in the early 1970s from radio personality Paul Harvey as a commendation for his outstanding achievement in philanthropic work. He raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various causes. Furr and his wife, Lela, had two sons and a daughter. Furr died on June 13, 1975, and is interred at Lubbock.
The family business fared poorly after Furr's death. In 1979, the company declared bankruptcy; the grocery business was sold to a group of West German investors and the restaurant business, Furr's Cafeterias, was bought by Kmart.
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... Furr, Roy Furr's father, founded the retail operation in 1904 and operated the stores primarily in west Texas ... Roy Furr entered the retail business, ultimately known as Furr's Inc ... In 1979, the German investment banker Rewe-Leibbrand obtained full ownership over Furr's Inc ...