Aubuchon Hardware patriarch passes

William Aubuchon Jr., who grew a family business into a chain of 136 hardware stores, has died. He was 91 years old.

Aubuchon joined W.E. Aubuchon, his father’s hardware store business, in 1938. Founded in Fitchburg, Mass., in 1908, the company operated 33 hardware stores at the time. Aubuchon expanded the chain to 136 locations and oversaw its entry into Maine, New York and Connecticut. He served as president from 1950 until 1993.

AFrench Canadian by heritage, Aubuchon was active in Franco-American cultural affairs. He was also a good bridge player. Aubuchon is survived by his wife of 63 years, Camille, two sons and three daughters.

The 140-unit chain is now led by CEO William “Bill” Aubuchon III and president M. Marcus Moran Jr., both grandsons of the company founder.