Lonnie Allsup 1933-2018
Author: Sally Harrison
Former NCHA President Lonnie Allsup, 84, of Clovis, New Mexico, passed away January 28 from complications following surgery. Allsup, who was NCHA Non-Pro World Champion in 1996 with his great mare Little Badger Dulce, was inducted into the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame in 2001.
Lonnie Allsup was born in Morton, Texas, about 50 miles west of Lubbock, in 1933. He was active in sports in high school, where he met his future wife, Barbara, a majorette in the school’s band.
He joined the Air Force in 1952 and worked as a radar instructor in Japan and the Far East, as well as in the States. Thirty days before completing his service in 1956, he signed a contract to buy one of the two convenience stores in Roswell, New Mexico. He and Barbara started working in Lonnie’s Drive-In three days after his discharge. Along with the usual goods, that first store even sold watermelons from a horse trough in the parking lot.
He grew his enterprise to include a dozen stores in Roswell, Ruidoso and Alamagordo, New Mexico, before selling them to Southland Corporation, which operates the 7-Eleven chain. But within a year, he built a new store in Clovis, and he was back in business. Today, the Allsup’s chain has more than 300 stores in 160 towns and cities. One of the company’s innovations in the 1960s was to introduce self-serve gasoline to the region.......
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