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Mom and Pop Shops

Published: 3/29/2012
For decades, my paternal grandparents ran a neighborhood market, which would fall under the category of a “Mom and Pop” store. It was attached to their home.

Truth be told, I don’t ever recall seeing Grandpap in the store. Grandma ran it with help from my dad, her other children and the next generation of relatives, including me.

March 29 is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. Please take time to celebrate the lives of folks who run or ran family businesses. Among recently deceased Moms and Pops are:

 Nellie Flores Morales (Express-NewsNellie Flores Morales, who died Feb. 14 at age 94, and her husband, Pete, operated a "mom and pop: neighborhood store, Tilden Grocery on Stafford and Tilden Streets in San Antonio for many years, according to the obituary published in the Express-News of San Antonio, Texas.

Her belief on God manifested itself in the love, kindness, and generosity she shared with all who knew her, and in her daily prayers for family, friends, and strangers. She was an active member of a neighborhood watch program and community action group (COPS). She loved to dance. In her later years she delighted sharing riddles, with children and strangers she met.

 George L. Bair (Springfield News-Leader)George L. Bair Sr., who died Jan. 15 at age 89, and his wife Jean were the original Bair's of the Bair's Grocery on South Campbell, per the obit from the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader.

They opened Bair's in 1962, first in a small building north of its current location. It was moved to its current location in 1967. They sold the store in 1972, though it continues to maintain the name Bair's and is the last "mom and pop" neighborhood grocery to exist in Springfield.

 Lloyd Reinwald (The Statesman Journal)Lloyd Reinwald, who died Feb. 3 at age 90, ran Bob & Lloyd’s, a meat counter/locker business, with his first wife, Myrtle, and close friend, Bob Pitzer, until 1963, according to the obit in The Statesman Journal of Salem, Ore.

He sold insurance for a few years until he opened his own butcher shop, Lloyd's Custom Meats. It was a mom and pop business for more than 20 years. Even after his retirement in 1983, he fondly introduced himself as "Lloyd the Butcher".

 Kazuko Swauger (San Bernardino Sun)Kazuko Swauger, who died Jan. 17 at age 84, and her husband, Charles, were known as “Mom and Pop Judo” during the 16 years in which they served as sensei of the Judo program at Norton Air Force Base and taught many men, women, and children, the obituary in the San Bernardino (Calif.) Sun said.

A "San-Dan", or third degree black belt in Judo, Kazuko worked with the pioneer of women's Judo, Fukuda Sensei, along with her Judo partner and friend, Elizabeth Lee.

Renowned fixtures in the women's Judo community and champions in the sport, Kazuko and Elizabeth traveled the nation together and won the Ju-No-Kata division of the AAU Judo Championships for two consecutive years in 1972 and 1973.


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This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer. She is the director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers.

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