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Geiger retiring, downtown pharmacy will close
A Port Orchard icon will ride into the sunset at the end of the month when local pharmacist Bob Geiger retires and closes his business.
"It's a little unnerving," Geiger said of the decision. "I'm a creature of habit, and I'm not sure what I am going to do. But after 59 years, maybe it's time to take a break."
Geiger's retirement is enough of a landmark, but he is closing a business that has been in continuous operation since 1888, according to his son, Brian Geiger.
Geiger, who will be 81 later this month, also spent 45 years on the Port Orchard City council.
He retired in 2007.
Geiger and his wife Ursula are two of the three full-time employees, with three part-timers also working at the store.
Geiger had a stroke just before Memorial Day, and Brian Geiger has been pitching in.
Geiger's decision to retire is sudden, according to his son, and is for health reasons.
The store will begin a liquidation sale on Thursday and expects to close by the end of July.
Geiger tried to sell the business but found no takers. Brian Geiger said any potential buyer would need to own and operate the business and be a licensed pharmacist.
"There aren't many people like that anymore," he said. "They are all working for the big chains."
The disposition of the customer list, which Geiger estimates numbers in the thousands, is undetermined at present.
Anyone who gets their prescriptions from Geiger will need to find another source within the next few weeks.
Geiger may sell the list to another pharmacy but many of the customers might not transfer, according to Brian Geiger.
“A lot of people get their prescriptions here because they like him," Brian said of his father. "They ask his advice about all kinds of things, not all of them pharmaceutical."
Geiger said the building is owned by the Vlist family, and is on a month-to-month lease.
Brian Geiger doesn't know what his parents will do after the store closes, but predicts they will remain active.
"They went to Sweden last year," he said. "So maybe there's more travel in the future."