Stan Duckworth, pharmacist at Sexton Pharmacy in Walnut Ridge for the past 31 years, called Friday bittersweet as he filled his final prescriptions at the 134-year-old business.
Sexton Pharmacy was established in 1886 by J.K. Sexton and Mr. Andrews. Sexton’s children followed in his footsteps, operating the business through the years.
The business is the oldest on record in the county and is the oldest pharmacy operating continuously in the state of Arkansas.
When Duckworth started working for the pharmacy it was owned by Bob Rainwater. He worked for Rainwater for 13 years before purchasing the pharmacy for a total of 44 years with Sexton’s.
Duckworth said the time has come for him to call it quits.
“It’s hard to work a one-man pharmacy,” he said. “I don’t need to be doing this all the time.”
He said while he knows the time has come for him to leave the business, he will miss his customers.
“I’ve appreciated their loyalty through the years,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of families come through here. We have some third-generation customers. We’re gonna really miss them.”
Geneva Waldrupe, who has worked at the pharmacy for 25 years, said she is retiring, as well, at least for now.
Duckworth will work a little longer, as he is scheduled to help with the transition of his customers’ files to Econo Med, also located in Walnut Ridge.
Eventually he and his wife, June, plan to move to Marion, where their daughter is a nurse practitioner and they have three grandchildren to spoil. They also have a son, who was recently married and works as a teacher in Fort Worth, Texas.
“I’m planning to do a little more fly fishing,” he said, “and get my grandchildren into trouble.”