Business owners credit success to Aubrey McClendon

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OKLAHOMA CITY- Many business owners are in mourning after the passing of Aubrey McClendon.

On Wednesday, firefighters were called to a fiery car wreck that killed the driver.

The Oklahoma City Police Department announced the driver of that vehicle was Aubrey McClendon, the former CEO of Chesapeake.

On Monday, family and friends gathered at his wake to remember the innovator, but the loss was felt by several businesses.

"He was just so impactful to so many people, and he touched a lot of people's lives," said Connie Franklin, sales associate at Liberte.

Red Coyote Running and Fitness was the first business to open in Classen Curve in 2010.

"The Curve is a little different than most shopping malls just because everything's faced inward, and that was one of his dreams, I believe, to make it more of a community," said Kathy Barkocy, employee at Red Coyote Running and Fitness.

Many of the two dozen businesses along Classen Curve were frequented by McClendon.

Andrea Mason opened Barre 3 in 2010.

She was greeted with a celebratory bottle of champagne from McClendon.

"I will never forget how he treated me as a person. He was super personable. He gave super generously all of the time, and he did it because that's the person that he was," Mason said.

McClendon was instrumental in the opening of Whole Foods, Pops in Arcadia and Nichols Hills, and a variety of other businesses frequented around Oklahoma City.

The news of his death shocked the whole city.

"It's always tough to lose a visionary, especially when they're so hands-on in your community,” Mason said. “Most importantly, the city will be affected because of him not being here, and my heart just goes out to his family, most importantly."

McClendon was also instrumental in starting the Christmas light display at the Chesapeake campus.

Now, a social media campaign using #LightUpOKC is asking Oklahomans to light a tree in his honor between now and March 26.

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