Sherm Olsrud, Owner of Sherm’s Markets, Dies at Age 95

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Sherm Olsrud, Owner of Sherm’s Markets, Dies at Age 95

05/17/2019
Sherm Olsrud, Owner of Sherm’s Markets, Dies at Age 95
Sherm Olsrud (left) with his son Steve and wife, Wanda

Sherm Olsrud, founder and former president of three Sherm’s Thunderbird Markets and one Sherm’s Food 4 Less in Oregon, died on May 14 at the age of 95.

“Sherm loved living and working in the Rogue Valley and was proud to be a part of the southern Oregon community,” said Steve Olsrud, current president of Sherm’s Markets and son of Sherm and his wife, Wanda, on the company’s website. “A celebration of life is being planned that will be open to employees, customers and vendors, as well as the extended community. Details will be forthcoming. Thank you so much for your love, support, thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. He will be greatly missed.”

Sherm and Wanda purchased their first store in 1958, before buying Thunderbird Market, in Medford, Ore., in 1967. They kept the name, just adding Sherm’s because they couldn’t afford a new sign. The independent grocery grew over the years to include a total of three Sherm’s Thunderbird Markets and one Sherm’s Food 4 Less.

The couple was active in the community and were known for charitable giving, with a recently revamped community playground named in their honor.

Sherm’s Thunderbird Market was honored in 2017 with Unified Grocer’s Ben Schwartz Retail Grocery Visionary Award.