C-Store, Travel Center Chain Icon 'Grandma Max' Dies

Maxine Bosselman was namesake for retailer's restaurant brand

Maxine Bosselman Grandma Max (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores)

Maxine Bosselman

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- "Grandma Max" has died. Maxine Bosselman, 92, of Grand Island, Neb., wife of the late Fred Bosselman, founder of convenience store and travel center retailer The Bosselman Cos., passed away on May 8, 2014.

Maxine was an icon in the Bosselman family businesses, mainly as the namesake for the restaurants, "Grandma Max's." She got her start in the restaurant business when she, her husband Fred, Fred's sister, Charlotte and Charlotte's husband Al Eaton and Charles Bosselman opened the Bosselman & Eaton Truck Stop on East Highway 30 in 1948. Maxine, a talented cook, waitressed, cooked and baked pies in the Bosselman & Eaton Cafe at night, and Fred worked during the day. When Fred built and opened the new truckstop on I-80 in 1965, Maxine and family would make sandwiches for all the truckers before the restaurant was there. The foodservice operations eventually evolved into Grandma Max's Restaurant in 1991.

In Grand Island, Bosselman supported many organizations. The Bosselman family contributed to the conference and convention center at the Heartland Events Center, and has long been associated with the Bosselman Pump & Pantry/Gus Fonner Stakes at the Fonner Park horseracing track.

Maxine Bosselman was born July 29, 1921, in Fairmont, Neb., the daughter of Dwight and Margaret (Ellis) Forbes.

Fred Bosselman died in 2006. Their son, Chuck Bosselman, who was chairman, died in 2012.

The company will establish a memorial fund in memory of "Grandma Max."

The Bosselman Cos. is based in Grand Island, Neb. It owns and operates 50 Pump & Pantry convenience stores; 44 Boss Shops; the Bosselman Travel Center; a Hampton Inn, three Pump & Pantry Motels, one Quality Inn & Suites, one Comfort Inn & Suites, and six Motel 6 franchises; six Grandma Max's and Max's Highway Diner Restaurants, Sam Bass’ Saloon & Steakhouse, and Schmooter's Bar & Casino; Food Courts including Subway, Little Caesars, Caribou Coffee, and Cinnabon Bakeries; and the Nebraska Danger Indoor Professional Football Team. Founded in 1948, Bosselman's is a family organization in its third generation and has expanded across the nation in 24 states.