Remembering Russ Raybould

 By: Jenn Schanz 

It was a somber Wednesday morning for hundreds, as they gathered at the Blessed Sacrament Church to say goodbye to Russ Raybould.

“He enjoyed life, he enjoyed people. He loved working, he loved working with people. And he was just a delight to be around, and he was a funny guy,” says friend and employee Dave McCleery. 

The Salt Lake City native moved to Lincoln in the late 50’s and started what is now the largest locally owned grocery store chain, B&R Stores, which includes Super Saver and Russ’s Market.

Mayor Chris Beutler was there, so was gubernatorial candidate Chuck Hassebrook; his running mate is Jane Raybould, Russ’s daughter.

Also there? dozens of Raybould’s employees.

“It’s kind of a bond like a school that you graduated from, or a club that you belong to. He is very much the lovable principal and the lovable boss of that group,” McCleery says.

Raybould opened his first store in 1964 at 17th and Washington, but that quickly grew.

Now, there’s 20, and half the employees are part owners.

“Mr. Raybould didn’t just work with all of us, which he did everyday, but he also shared his company with all of us,” says employee Jay Voigt. 

“One of the things I really appreciated was that sense of comradery and working together that we all do, but also that commitment again to customer service that everybody seems to have in the store,” says Jeff Woodcock, another employee. 

After the casket was put into the hearse, employees lined the streets from the church all the way to that first store, knowing full well what the boss would have to say if he were there.

“He’d probably tell us to go back and get busy because there’s a lot of people, customers that we need to take care of,” Voigt says. 

Raybould was taken to Lincoln Memorial to be buried. He leaves behind his wife of more than 65 years, Anita, three children and seven grandchildren.