BY PAT ANDREWS
“A chapter might be finished, but the story goes on…”
Debra “Debbie” Vollenweider believes the phrase is the only appropriate way to sum up her husband’s 52-year career at a Downriver landmark. The Detroiter Truck Stop in Woodhaven recently changed owners when it was sold to James Haslam III. He is the CEO of the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain and owner of the Cleveland Browns football franchise. More importantly, he is a longtime friend of the current owner, Bill Vollenweider. Turning over a legacy is always difficult, but Bill said he is confident that his father and founder, the late Edward Vollenweider, would be pleased that an old friend has taken the helm.
At age 68, the Grosse Ile resident and his wife are not sure what will be next, but it certainly will not be an alarm clock.
Bill literally followed in the giant steps of his father — a man who was a wartime hero and made deals and dreams happen as he built a commercial center in an up and coming city. The senior Vollenweider was born in Chicago in 1921 to Swiss immigrants and then grew up on a small dairy farm in Wisconsin. He joined the United States Air Force in World War II and as a B-26 bomber pilot flew 72 missions in the European Theater. His heroic efforts and that of his crews were fodder for the history books and one of the many planes he flew, the Flak Bait, is now housed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Read More