‘It’s been a great ride:’ Caulkins Jewelers to close up shop after more than 60 years
The local shop has been run for decades by Stanley Caulkins, 91, and his late brother, Roger, 85 who died earlier this month at age 85. Roger had been hospitalized after suffering an aneurysm.
The store's closure will coincide with the end of the shop's lease in June. The brothers had worked side-by-side in their business since 1970.
“I grew up in Leesburg. We came to the town when I was 12, daddy was a Baptist preacher. With my brother gone, that's going to be the end of Caulkins,” Caulkins told the Times-Mirror.
Stanley Caulkins attended Leesburg High School before going on to Montgomery Jr. College in Bethesda, Md. He is a veteran of World War II, where he served as a radioman and waist gunner flying on the B-17 “Five Grand” bomber. When he returned home, he received training through the GI Bill of Rights to become a watchmaker.
Stanley himself has suffered from poor health of late. He's recovering from the effects of a stroke last year, another reason behind the decision to close.
“I'm a semi-invalid now. I've been on my back for nine months,” he said.
The shop swapped its downtown Leesburg premises for a new location following a fire in an above apartment in 2015. Caulkins opened its new store in the Virginia Village shopping center last year. In August, the brothers celebrated 60 years in business.
Stanley Caulkins said they are currently operating a soft closing, with discounts expected to increase as the closing date draws nearer.
He paid tribute to the loyal clientele who have patronized the business and said how grateful he was for their business over the years.
“Other businesses have come and gone. It's been a pleasure and a great ride,” he said.
Caulkins was instrumental in establishing Leesburg Executive Airport, where the terminal is named for him.
“I'm not morbid about it all. The passing of my brother was quick. There's always a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
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