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The list of pharmacist families continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
We continue to marvel at every new story of pharmacist families. When we presented the latest, Rose Mary Madejski's “U.B. and beyond: Nine lives in pharmacy” we knew it wasn’t the last word. Here, for a change of pace, is a collection of brief accounts of 10 families and 50 pharmacists - and that’s not counting the assorted children, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren for whom working in the family store was a rite of passage.
My father, Leo Hopp, was a pharmacist. We grew up over Hopp's Drugs, his corner drugstore in Newark, N.J. Four of his seven kids became pharmacists: Marjorie, Carl, Barbara, and Dorothy.
Barbara Morris, RPh
My Dad was a pharmacist and his stepfather was too. My grandmother owned a pharmacy in San Francisco in the 1920s, and they both became pharmacists. When I got out of pharmacy school in 1953 I worked with my step-grandfather at Walgreens in Oakland.
George Golish, PharmD
My wife's father was a pharmacist, my wife and I are both pharmacists, my nephew and his wife are both pharmacists, and their daughter is now thinking of becoming a pharmacist. That's four generations of pharmacists in our family.
Jim Constertina, RPh
My name is Jack Arkins and I am a pharmacist. My grandfather (Elmer) was a pharmacist, as was my dad (Jim). My uncle Bill was a pharmacist. My older brother, Jim is a pharmacist, and so is my younger brother, Terry. I also have a niece, Chris, who is a pharmacist. That make three generations, so far.
Jack Arkins, RPh
I am a pharmacist in Puerto Rico. I am writing to you to tell you about a family here that includes three generations of pharmacists.
They are the Mahiques family. They live in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, and have been practicing community pharmacy for more than 50 years. The father, Daniel Sr.; his two sons; his daughter-in-law; one of his granddaughters; and her husband are all recognized pharmacists.
They may also hold a record. Daniel Mahiques Sr. received the Bowl of Hygieia award in 1978, and his son Daniel Mahiques Jr. received this prestigious award in 2013. To add to this story, Daniel Mahiques Jr. was a member of the Puerto Rico Board of Pharmacy for eight years and its President for four years.
Tomas Ramirez, BPharm, MS, RP
My grandfather opened his pharmacy almost 60 years ago, in 1959. He still comes in every day! He is almost 90. My uncle also is a pharmacist there. I am the third generation! We all work together at the family store, Oak Hill Pharmacy in Evansville, Indiana.
Kelly Paul, PharmD
In our family, it all stated when my grandfather graduated from pharmacy school in the '30s. Then my father, Ross Alexander, graduated from the same school in 1958. I graduated in 1986. Following me was my brother’s daughter, Kelli Smith, in 2014. We all graduated from Big Rapids Ferris State University's School of pharmacy. Today my wife, Shellie Alexander, and my brother-in-law Mark Barnes, both pharmacists, own and operate three drugstores in West Michigan.
Daniel Alexander, RPhPresident, CEO Lakeshore Pharmacies, Inc.Allegan Community Pharmacy/Alexander's Drug Store/Saugatuck Drug
The Lovoi family out of Beaumont, Texas, is at least a three-generation family of pharmacists. Jasper Lovoi founded Lovoi Drugstore in 1934. All three sons became pharmacists. Today two of his sons, John and Jasper Jr., run the Lovoi and Sons Pharmacy, where grandson Jasper III is a compounding pharmacist. Jasper III and his wife, Keisha Lovoi, RPh, also own their own compounding pharmacy (the Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy), and Keisha teaches sterile compounding at PCCA. The latest generation is represented by Nicole Lovoi, PharmD, also at the Woodlands.
Chad Wiggins, PharmDOwner, S&R Drug Co., Kirbyville, Texas
[Editor's note: After this article published, Drug Topics received the following message: "My name is Justin Lovoi and I'm the son of Jasper Lovoi Jr. Jasper Lovoi III is my brother and owner of The Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy. I just want to add to your article on all the pharmacists in my family. In 2014 my wife Anna and I both graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word's Feik School of Pharmacy in San Antonio and are currently working as pharmacists at Triangle Pharmacy Solutions in Beaumont, Texas. Sincerely, Justin Lovoi PharmD." Thanks for the update, Justin!
Now it's 52 pharmacists, 10 families. Who will be next? Send your updates to email@example.com; we're already looking forward to the next round of family stories.]
My family’s history in pharmacy goes back to 1902 and my grandfather, Oscar Anderson (later Lauring; Swedes change their surname), U. of Minn. He owned Lauring Drug, in Roseau, Minn. He was followed by his son, Roy Lauring (my uncle), U of Minn. 1950. Roy was a WWII vet, hence the late graduation date. Roy owned Lauring Drug in Monticello, Minn. I graduated from U. of Minn. In 1963. My sister, Lois Lauring, graduated from U. Wyoming in 1974, and my daughter, Holly (Lauring) Drayfahl, graduated from U. of Minn. in 1994. All pharmacists.
Richard Lauring, RPh Owner, 1968-2006, Truman Drug, Truman, Minnesota
The son of a policeman, my dad came back from the Navy thinking he might go into law enforcement. His mother, my grandmother, said, "Absolutely not!" A good friend was a pharmacist, so that would be his profession. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati (U.C.) College of Pharmacy in 1958 with two and 8/9 children.
In 1960, he opened Hart Pharmacy on the west side of Cincinnati, and through hard work, long hours, and always putting the patient first, made a good living for his wife and 11 children.
I was the oldest and musical theater was my passion. When I wanted to pursue it in college, my parents said, "Absolutely not! You will get a degree in something where you can get a job!" My high school chemistry professor convinced me that I would be a very good pharmacist, and I have never regretted that decision.
I bought the family store in 1990 with one my sisters, a nonpharmacist.
When my oldest daughter was ready for college, she chose music - opera. How could I say no? She graduated and taught for a few years, but it never really felt right. She came to work as a tech at the store until she could figure our what she was meant to do with her life.
After six months of doing an excellent job of taking care of our patients, she asked me what I thought about her going to pharmacy school. I told her it would be a big commitment, since she had very little science and math, but she was ready.
Seven years later, she is a PY3 at U.C., married, with a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old. She runs our Mediset program and is president of our student NCPA.
I have been an adjunct professor at U.C. for over 25 years. Our store was one of the first to take students when the externship programs began.
My dad just gave up his license a few months ago after practicing for 55 years.
I volunteer as the consultant pharmacist for an addiction treatment center, and our store is very active in the naloxone program. We are all active in our community and try to give back to our neighbors. We offer delivery and still answer our phones, while striving to have the technology for the next generation. We are blessed to have four generations of some families as our patients. We have helped train hundreds of students and all of our children, nieces, and nephews have spent some time learning work skills that they carried on to other careers.
We joke that for three people who thought that they wanted to do something else, we wound up in just the right place.
Sometimes we get discouraged with insurance problems and the bureaucracy, but we remind ourselves that we are the front line for patient care and safety. Pharmacy, particularly independent pharmacy, has allowed us all to be relevant in other peoples' lives. As we get ready to welcome the third generation in 2016, my father and I know the future could not be in better hands.
Mimi Hart, RPhCEO, Hart Pharmacy, Price Hill, Ohio
That's the lot. Our mail bag is empty. If you haven't yet sent Drug Topics the story of your own family, now's the time. Keep the ball rolling; send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org for sharing with your fellow pharms. Thanks!
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