Earls co-founder Bus Fuller dies at 90

Family patriarch owned part of Earls, Joey, Cactus Club and other restaurants

bus fuller
Bus Fuller had been in the restaurant business for 65 years |Karolina Turek

The Fuller family shared news on October 7 that family patriarch Leroy Earl Fuller, known as Bus, died peacefully while surrounded by family at his home on the weekend.

He was 90 years old.

The Korean War veteran and B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame inductee left a restaurant legacy that spanned 65 years and started with the Green and White Drive-In in Sunburst Montana in 1954.

He then opened a series of A&W franchises, starting in Alberta. There was also a venture called Fuller Family Restaurants. With son Stan Fuller, Bus opened the first Earls restaurant in Edmonton in 1982.

In 2007, Business in Vancouver asked Stan Fuller what made Earls a success.

“I’m an introvert,” he said after a long silence. “My dad’s a total extrovert. The difference in our personalities helped a lot, because it made for a better fit for the two of us to work together. I don’t think you could have two extroverts working together.”

Through the years, the family’s restaurant holdings expanded to include Joey Restaurant Co., Cactus Club and, Fuller’s favourite hangout, the Beach House restaurant.

Fuller had four sons: Stan, Jeff, Clay and Stewart. 

It was as recently as late August that son Stan Fuller told BIV that he had seen his father recently and he was as “fiesty” and as sharp as ever.

“A long-time resident of West Vancouver, Bus was well known within the community he was proud to call home,” the family said in a statement.

“Those fortunate enough to work alongside and know Bus have lost an inspiring mentor, a charismatic leader and a true friend. Bus leaves behind a legacy that exists because of his dedication, hard work and ability to surround himself with great people. He has touched the hearts of many and will be forever loved and missed.”

The family asked for privacy at this time.