Kum & Go founder dies at age 78
William A. Krause, a West Des Moines entrepreneur who built Kum & Go, the nation's fifth largest privately held convenience store chain, died June 19 at 78. He had been battling cancer.
Born and raised in Eldora, Iowa, Krause graduated from the University of Iowa and two years later formed a partnership with his father-in-law, the late T. S. Gentle, on a convenience store concept where townspeople could purchase milk, bread and eggs in addition to gasoline.
Formerly known as Krause Gentle Corporation, the family-owned company opened its first store in Hampton, Iowa, in 1959. Today, Kum & Go employs over 4,600 associates and operates in 11 states with 423 stores, including nine in Colorado Springs. Krause, who also initiated the store policy of sharing 10 percent of profits with charitable and educational causes, retired from Kum & Go Dec. 31, 2003.
From a press release