WILLARD, Mo.– With gas prices rising, everyone is looking for the lowest prices. One day, a KOLR10 reporter found Bill’s service center in Willard, where gas prices were significantly lower.
After speaking with Bill, we realized there was a bigger story than gas prices.
Bill Stokes remained full service despite all the changes his career went through.
A full-service gas station is a luxury of yesteryear. At the corner of Business 160 and Miller Street in Willard, you’ll find Stokes and its loyal clientele.
Phillip ‘Shorty’ Schultz is a long-time Stokes customer.
“You know, when you have someone who treats you well, you keep coming back,” Schultz said.
Stokes has worked on this same corner since 1985, when his brother owned it. It was called Ron’s Conoco back then.
In 1990 Stokes bought it from his brother and soon changed the name to Bill’s.
Over the years, Stokes said he’s seen a lot come and go.
“When I started there was no fuel injection, it was just carburetion,” Stokes said. “Now there are no more guys who know how to carburize, but a few.”
Over the years, one thing has remained the same: Bill’s commitment to customers. Customers like Tim Wiggs, who says he counts on Bill’s.
“It’s full service,” Wiggs said. “I’m disabled, and these people take care of you here.”
Schultz added that Bill’s offers good service and low gas prices.
“Good service and just being honest,” Stokes said. “That’s what I can contribute to.”
Online critics are singing Bill’s praises, but Stokes isn’t too interested in reading the reviews.
“I never watched,” Stokes said. “Too busy to watch, I guess.”
Stokes will reach retirement age in mid-May this year. His future plans are still unknown, but even when he retires, Stokes said he probably couldn’t stay away from Bill’s gas station.