David E. Waldrip, founder of David’s Supermarket chain, passed away on Saturday. A former Grandview resident, Waldrip resided in Raymondville at the time of his death.
The Grandview-based chain, which operated in dozens of north central Texas towns, sold to Brookshire Brothers of Lufkin last year.
David’s operated 25 stores at the time of the sale including stores in Alvarado, Godley and Grandview and Venus.
Born in 1940 in Cleburne, Waldrip graduated Cleburne High School in 1958. Before graduation Waldrip began working for Safeway Grocery Store and Mrs. Baird’s Bakery.
Waldrip opened his first grocery store in 1964 in Milford and founded David’s Supermarket Inc. shortly after.
Waldrip is the uncle of Cleburne Police Chief Robert Severance.
“I always looked up to my uncle David,” Severance said. “He was successful and humble and I still frequently meet people in and around Cleburne whose lives he touched.”
Severance said Waldrip made a 14-hour round trip back to Cleburne in 2012 to see his nephew sworn in as police chief.
“That meant so much to me,” Severance said. “My thoughts and prayers are with his immediate family and all those who are also touched by his loss.”
Grandview City Administrator Travis Buck said that although Waldrip began his grocery business elsewhere it was in Grandview that the independently owned chain experienced its big start.
“David Waldrip was a dear friend to the citizens and community of Grandview and we are thankful for the employment David’s Supermarkets provided many of our residents through the years including the many high school students looking for after school and summertime jobs,” Buck said.
“It’s also worth mentioning that our downtown revitalization began to occur when David remodeled the building that housed the corporate headquarters of David’s.
“His philanthropy and love for Grandview will surely be missed.”