Employees, customers remember longtime Leeker’s manager

Steve Morrison was a familiar face and steady presence at Leeker's Family Foods for 33 years.
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 12:57 PM CDT
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PARK CITY, Kan. (KWCH) - When shoppers walked in the doors at Leeker’s Family Foods in Park City, there was often a familiar face that was a steady presence at the family-owned store for 33 years. Now, after the longtime Leeker’s manager died earlier this week, customers and employees are remembering the impact Steve Morrison had.

Longtime customer Roy Riggs is among many saddened by the unexpected news of Morrison’s death. Riggs began shopping at Leeker’s after moving to the neighboring community of Kechi in 1992.

“Almost every time you came to the store, Steve would be here with a smiling face. He made you feel comfortable,” Riggs said. “If the registers were full, he’d always open a new one for you. He got to know you by name after a while.”

That continuous presence became well known.

“He was here so much, you’d think he’d be here when you came to shop. I generally shop here two to three times a week and it was nice to have that familiarity,” Riggs said.

The news of Morrison’s death this week shocked customers, as well as Leeker’s employees. Morrison gave many of them their first opportunity to work, including owner Chris Steindler who began working with Steve at his grandfather, John Leeker’s store when he was 15.

“I went full circle with him. I started as a carryout boy. He was my boss,” Steindler said of Morrison. “He put me on the schedule, he taught me how to work. It went full circle when I bought the store from my grandpa. Our roles kinda switched, but we had a mutual respect.”

One word that Steindler used to describe Morrison was honest.

“He would tell you exactly like it is, whether good or bad,” Steindler said.

He said Morrison would never sugarcoat anything.

“You could take it to the bank, it was true,” Steindler said.

As customers, employees, family and friends remember Morrison and the impact he’s left, Riggs shared some words for the longtime manager’s family and for the store to which he gave so much of his life.

“They have my love and prayers. I’ll be thinking of them often and I’ll continue to shop here often and continue to support them,” Riggs said.