After almost 80 years in Rock Falls and Sterling, the Schreiner family has pumped its last gallon of gas.
Joe Schreiner opened his first station, Gas for Less, at 1308 First Ave. in 1938. His son, Lyle took over after World War II, followed by Lyle’s sons Gail and Gary, then Gary’s son Mark, and Gail’s sons Jeff and Kevin.
Most recently, niece Kelli Keefer, Gail’s granddaughter, Marissa Razo, and Gary’s grandson, Nick McFadden, joined the ranks.
The family also opened two stations in Sterling, one on Locust street near the current Circle K and the other on Fourth Street, near what is now Fortune Cycle. They have since been closed or sold.
In 1991, the original station was revamped and renamed Schreiner’s Mobil. The family bought three homes to make room for the new building.
Now, 26 years later, Gail is 70, and pooped.
“Take a look at 70 – that’s what brought the decision,” Gail said. “Life’s too short, I want to enjoy something. I’m tired of getting up at 2 in the morning.”
About a month ago, the family sold the station, and Schreiner’s Express Lube, which they opened next door in 1995, to Kelley Williamson Co., a third-generation family-owned business.
Since then, Gail and Gary have been spending their new-found freedom playing golf and doing yard work, and still are figuring out what to do with all their free time, while Jeff, 45, who started working with the family when he was 15, is taking some time to decide where his career will take him.
The Schreiners thank the community and their employees “for being loyal and good friends” all these years, Jeff said, adding that the people were what made going to work every day so much fun.
Celebrate the legacy of the Schreiner family at an open house and retirement party from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. July 1 at Tin Roof Tavern, 13464 Galt Road in Sterling.