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Leaving a legacy

Mary Ann Strom witnessed over six decades of changes in store and Estherville, retires tomorrow

September 4, 2018
By Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer , Estherville News

Mary Ann Strom's last day working at Estherville Drug is tomorrow, Aug. 31.

"It's hard," Mary Ann said. She added that she might not want to say it that way.

"Sixty-five years has not just been me, it's been my present and past employers and my present and past fellow workers," Mary Ann said.

Article Photos

Mary Ann Strom retires from Estherville Drug after 65 years
Photo by Amy H. Peterson

Mary Ann is also moving out of her house and into an apartment at Homestead this weekend.

"I always enjoyed my work," Mary Ann said. "I still like coming to work."

Mary Ann has witnessed three generations at Estherville Drug.

"Alan [Robinson] was eleven years old when his grandfather hired me," Mary Ann said.

The elder Mr. Robinson asked Mary Ann, "Will you stay a year?"

Mary Ann said, "I think so, because Glen hasn't asked me to marry him yet."

A lot of changes have happened, both in Estherville and in the store. Mary Ann said Estherville Drug was open until 9 p.m. every night and 9:30 on Saturdays. Shoppers could spend all day at the stores in Estherville and not get to all of them, Mary Ann said.

When Mary Ann started, the drugstore still had the soda fountain, and they hand-packed ice cream in quarts and pints.

"The soda fountain drew the young people, and having them around I think kept us young," she said.

Mary Ann turns 87 in December. "I wasn't hired as a teenager; I was already in my 20s," she said.

Not knowing what else to say that would mark her lengthy legacy, Mary Ann said she is grateful for having had a wonderful place to work.

Mary Ann will be present from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow to greet friends and well-wishers. The Estherville Drug family threw a party for Mary Ann last weekend.

 
 
 

 

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