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R. Stuart Dickson.png Courtesy of

Former Harris Teeter owner dies at 94

R. Stuart Dickson served as the retailer’s chairman of the board for 25 years

Former Harris Teeter owner R. Stuart Dickson passed away May 11, at the age of 94, as reported by The Charlotte Observer

Dickson and his brother Alan took over their father’s company, R. S. Dickson & Co., in 1968 and transformed it into the multibillion-dollar conglomerate Ruddick Corp. In 1969, Ruddick Corp. acquired textile manufacturer American & Efird and grocery store Harris Teeter, where R. Stuart Dickson served as board chairman until 1994. 

The family legacy continued when the Dickson brothers retired from Ruddick in 2002, with R. Stuart Dickson’s son, Thomas “Tad” W. Dickson, taking over as chairman.  R. Stuart Dickson retired from the board six years later. In 2012, Ruddick sold A&E for $180 million to focus on Harris Teeter and officially changed its name to Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. In 2014, Kroger acquired Harris Teeter for $2.4 billion.

Harris Teeter, which celebrated its golden anniversary in 2010, became a leading grocery chain in the Southeast under R. Stuart Dickson’s leadership. 

Dickson also made significant contributions to the civic sphere. He succeeded his father as chairman of the Carolinas Healthcare System (Now Atrium Health), a role he held for 25 years. Additionally, he served as the chairman and president of The Dickson Foundation, a philanthropic organization that provides crucial support to education, healthcare, religious, and charitable organizations through grants.

A graduate of Davidson College, he worked at Goldman Sachs in New York before returning to Charlotte. Dickson is survived by his second wife, four children, their spouses, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His funeral service is scheduled for 2 p.m. May 21 at Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte.

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