Family, friends remember Food Town chain founder

A pioneering Clarkston business woman is being remembered as ‘a loving, kind person.?
Margaret Lavelle Roth, founder of the Food Town grocery store chain, died on Dec. 24, 2004. The family chose not to reveal her age or the cause of death.
The first Food Town store opened in 1944, and the chain eventually grew to include stores in Clarkston, Waterford, Oxford and Hartland.
Mrs. Roth sold the chain to Farmer Jack about five years ago, according to her husband, Daniel Roth.
‘It was the last of the independents,? he said, noting the end of an era for many local shoppers.
Mrs. Roth’s business acumen led to her being named Employer of the Year in October 1990 by the Waterford chapter of the American Business Women’s Association.
‘She was a giving, generous lady,? Daniel Roth said, noting a scholarship program launched for Food Town bag boys. ‘I couldn’t begin to list the number of people she helped through college.?
A former member of the Joseph E. Bird Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, Mrs. Roth was also a former member of Central United Methodist Church in Waterford and a current member of Clarkston United Methodist Church.
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Roth is survived by sons Edwin (Gretchen) Adler of Lake Angelus and Robert (Peggy) Roth of Clarkston; grandchildren Tara, Chelsey and Jordan Roth of Clarkston; sister Ann (Lorn) Hayes of Waterford; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by son, David Roth; sisters, Willie May Smith, Clyde Schaver and Mayme Plamateer; and brothers Charles, Wendel and Harry Lehman.
Funeral was on Dec. 28 at Clarkston United Methodist Church, with interment at Ottawa Park Cemetery.
With a marriage lasting almost 41 years, Daniel Roth said he will remember her for her role as a wife and mother.
‘It was a pleasure taking care of her,? he said.
Mrs. Roth’s giving spirit is being remembered through suggested memorials. Gifts may be send to either the Independence Township Library or to the Bertha Ross Music Foundation (founded in honor of Mrs. Roth’s sister, a music teacher for more than 60 years) in care of Evola Music, 2184 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302.