Gene Stille, Founder of Nugget Markets, Peacefully Passes Away
- by Maggie Mead
WOODLAND, CA - It is a solemn moment for Nugget Markets. The retailer announced the passing of its Founder, Eugene “Gene” Noel Stille. The industry veteran died in his sleep on Wednesday, January 16, at the age of 89.
The third-generation grocer and “chairman” of Nugget Markets is survived by his four children, as well as 16 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. The family has announced that a Celebration of Life is planned for Monday, February 25, as reported by The Daily Democrat. The family has requested that donations be made to Yolo Hospice in lieu of flowers.
“His passions in life were his family, his friends, and his work,” according to VP of Marketing and Communications Kate Stille.
Born in Woodland, CA, Gene “literally grew up in the family grocery business,” Kate noted. After attending Sacramento Community College, Gene served for four years in the Air Force during the Korean War. While on a three-day pass visiting Baltimore, MD, Gene met the love of his life, Joan Hoffman, to whom he was married to for 62 years, until her death in 2013.
“It was love at first sight, and within two months the couple was engaged,” Kate said.
Gene was devoted to Woodland, a special place to him where he was born, raised, and eventually raised four children.
“The Woodland community is where Gene developed many lifelong friends who helped mold him into the man he became,” Kate stated. “It was also the genesis of his family business, Nugget Markets, which Gene took over after his father in the mid-1950s. Gene continued to grow the business over the course of his lifetime, always focused on service, quality, value, servant leadership, and the local communities.”
Gene was very active in his community, taking on leadership roles in the California Grocers Association and United Grocers Association, was a member of the Woodland Lions Club and the Masonic Order, and also served on numerous community boards.
“Most importantly, Gene was a fun-loving, hard-working, spirited person who was always willing to offer a helping hand,” said Kate. “His contagious smile and positive attitude inspired his family and everyone he met. Gene was a friend to all and will be dearly missed by many.”
We offer our most sincere condolences to Gene’s family and to Nugget Markets.