SHAMOKIN — Family and friends are mourning the loss of a business owner in Shamokin.
Robert Jones, known as “Bob” to his friends, was the president of Jones ACE Hardware, a high school teacher and former Northumberland County Commissioner.
“There’s things you just feel you want to go ask him, and now he’s not there to ask. So, it’s a little bit of a void,” said Joe Harris, a manger of Jones ACE Hardware.
Jones’ friends said he died on March 12 from a heart attack. He was 73 years old.
“I wish I could be half the man he was, truly, really,” said Patrick Giarrizzo from Shamokin.
The original location of Jones Hardware is in Shamokin. Friends of Jones said he was the driving force behind expanding the company.
“He opened our store in Herndon making us a three store chain for ACE,” said Harris.
A pizzeria owner in Shamokin said Jones is the reason he was able to open his shop on East Independence Street.
“When I first started business here, he helped me out and set me up with credit. Even after I left and came back, he helped me out again when most people wouldn’t have,” said Giarrizzo.
Gary Haddock was a student of Jones’ when he taught business at Shamokin Area High School.
Years later, when Haddock retired, Jones took him on as a part-time employee at the hardware store.
“That is the kind of guy Bob Jones was, if he could help you, he would. I will be ever thankful for him,” said Haddock.
A manager at Jones ACE Hardware said the company is not in danger and will stay in the family.
“Bob’s son, Bob, is very active in his own right and well-suited to take over,” said Harris.
Jones ACE Hardware will celebrate 100 years in 2015.