This R.Ph. is 90 years young and still going strong

March 19, 2007

When Carl Dew was in the seventh grade, his teacher asked the class to practice filling out a job application. "I wrote the application to Lane Drug Co. in Knoxville," said Dew, owner of Corner Drug Store in Lake City, Tenn.





















When Carl Dew was in the seventh grade, his teacher asked the class to practice filling out a job application. "I wrote the application to Lane Drug Co. in Knoxville," said Dew, owner of Corner Drug Store in Lake City, Tenn.

So enamored of pharmacy was Dew that when he became a senior in high school, he worked at Corner Drug Store mopping the floors and cleaning the windows so he could save money to attend pharmacy school. "I just kept on working when I got out of high school; I really did not have any money," he recalled. "I worked for three years before college. But I knew that I was going to college. I knew I would make it. No one else in my family graduated from college. I had one sister who graduated from high school. We were just poor people. I did everything to get by. I worked seven nights a week. I got out of school at 5:30, ate, and then got to the drugstore at 6:00 and worked until 11:30."

Dew finally realized his dream and attended Louisville College of Pharmacy, which is currently the Kentucky College of Pharmacy. He received a B.S. degree in pharmacy. "I've been registered in Tennessee since 1940," he boasted.

Dew also served in the United States Navy as chief pharmacist mate and was stationed for two years in the South Pacific. After spending the remainder of his Navy career in Texas, he returned to Corner Drug.

Dew became sole owner of the pharmacy after his partner passed away in 1959. "I've been sole owner since then," he said. "When my son finished pharmacy school, I started giving him the drugstore. But I'm still here and I've been very fortunate."

Dew takes pride in the active role he took in pharmacy organizations throughout the years. In 1973, he served as president of the Tennessee Pharmacists Association. He was also committee chairman of professional relations for the National Association of Retail Druggists, now known as the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Dew has also received several awards over the years. He was a recipient of the Bowl of Hygeia award for community service in 1963, and in 1979, he nabbed the Tennessee Pharmacist of the Year Award.

Noting that his son David is in charge of the pharmacy these days, Dew said, "He doesn't do the politicking that I did. I really was fortunate and took a great part in that. My wife and I made a lot of trips each year to the different cities."

When asked how things have changed for him as a pharmacist over the years, Dew said, "It hasn't changed much, except I got older, but I still do pretty well. I come down to the store in the morning. I always stay until noon and sometimes longer. Last weekend I took 15 hours of CE credits in Knoxville," he said proudly.

When queried what it is like to be a pharmacist in the same town for several decades, Dew said, "I have a few customers that I have had for 50 years. Many of them were kids hanging around the fountain in the '30s and '40s. The kids grew up in Corner Drug and I see a lot of them from time to time. They wish the old fountain was back, but I took it out."