Val Henning, the original owner of Val's Rapid Serv in St. Cloud.

ST. CLOUD -  The founder of Val's Rapid Service has passed away.

Val Henning, the founder of the famous burger stop passed away on Friday morning at the age of 97, according to his son Dave. Val had been recently fighting Alzheimer's.

Val's is considered a restaurant staple in the area with its seasoned fries, hamburgers and shakes.

In 1959 Val and wife Kathleen purchased what used to be the Pure Oil gas station along East St. Germaine and converted it into a restaurant known today. At one time the business used to be open seasonally for just six months out of the year.

Val retired from the family business in 1979 and sold it to sons Bill and David Henning. David bought his brother out in 1990.

David says he started working at the restaurant doing various jobs when he was nine years old.

Today Val's maintains the same traditions it’s maintained for decades like the well-known white sailor hat uniform. They are perhaps best known for their generous french fry portions which are flavored with a popcorn seasoning and their variety of shakes.

While keeping old traditions alive, Val's is also keeping up with modern technology. They added four touch screen ordering systems for convenience. The owner says the new technology not only makes filling orders easier on the cooks but offers greater convenience to customers.

Val's is now open year-round from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.