C. Jay Buikema, 78, longtime CEO of seven-unit Buikema’s Ace Hardware, Naperville, Il., died Dec. 6.
He starting working in his parents’ hardware store as a stock boy, rising to department manager before taking over the business. He began adding other locations in the 1970s, running as many as nine in the 2000s.
Last fall, the family agreed to sell the chain to Westlake Ace Hardware, with the deal set to close by Jan. 2.
He was a past president of the Illinois Retail Hardware Association and served the National Retail Hardware Association as president in 1994 and on its board starting in 1985.