Evelyn “Sunny” Stater, widow of Stater Bros. co-founder Lavoy Stater, will turn 100 years old in September, and will be celebrated via a private birthday celebration held by her family.
In 1935, Evelyn went to work for the W.A. Davis grocery store in Yucaipa, Calif., which the Stater brothers purchased in 1936, keeping her on board and making her the first Stater Bros. employee. Her duties ranged from weighing eggs to checking, cleaning and keeping books on credit extended to customers.
In 1943, she married Lavoy and continued working forStater Bros. until the birth of their first child in 1948. Evelyn and Lavoy have three children, seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Their son Edward retired from Stater Bros. in 2011, having worked for the grocer for more than 45 years, most recently as an SVP.
“Evelyn Stater made countless contributions to Stater Bros. Markets,” said Jack H. Brown, executive chairman of Stater Bros. “Without Evelyn’s support in the early days, Stater Bros.' future may not have been as bright and blessed. Women have played a big role in the Stater Bros. success story, but none has played a bigger role than that of Evelyn Stater and the Stater wives.
“Additionally, [we offer] thanks to retired SVP Ed Stater, [his] wife, Vicki and sister Christie for documenting and sharing the history of Stater Bros., which reflects all of the contributions the Stater family has made to the Stater Bros. ‘family’ of employees,” Brown continued.
San Bernardino, Calif.-based Stater Bros., the largest privately owned supermarket chain in Southern California and the largest private employer in both San Bernardino and Riverside counties, operates 168 supermarkets and employs more than 18,000 associates.