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Leesburg stalwart Stanley Caulkins dies at 92

Stanley Caulkins, who died Jan. 12 at age 92. Times-Mirror File Photo
Stanley Caulkins, one of Leesburg's best known and most respected businessmen, died this morning at his home. He was 92.

A post on Caulkins Jewelers Facebook page announced his passing.

“It is with much sadness that we’d like to let everyone know that our ‘Mr Leesburg’ is now flying with the Angels. He passed away this morning in his home calmly and peacefully with his beloved cats Angel and Ellie.”

Caulkins Jewelers, a shop long-considered an integral part of the retail fabric of Leesburg, closed at the end of June 2017 after more than half a century in business. A 2015 fire forced a move from downtown to the Virginia Village shopping center. The shop was run for decades by Stanley Caulkins and his brother, Roger, who died in March last year at age 85. Roger had been hospitalized after suffering an aneurysm.

“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,” Stanley Caulkins told the Times-Mirror in March 2017.

Stanley Caulkins attended Leesburg High School before going on to Montgomery Jr. College in Bethesda, Md. He was 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 to become a watchmaker.

The jewelry store's closure coincided with the end of the shop's lease in June 2017. The brothers had worked side-by-side in their business since 1970.

Stanley Caulkins served on the Town Council and was instrumental in establishing Leesburg Executive Airport, where the terminal is named in his honor.

The last few years saw Caulkins suffering from poor health. He had a stroke in 2016, another reason behind the decision to close the jewelers.

Since his retirement Caulkins had received daily visitors.

Tributes are flooding in on Caulkins Jewelers Facebook page. Friend Stilson Greene said he spent some time with Caulkins just before his passing.

"I was blessed to have spent some time yesterday with Stanley Caulkins,” Greene said. “This morning he passed on to his reward. He was a beloved family friend, one my father's best friends. They were classmates. I considered Stanley an uncle. He was also a mentor to me and I owe so much of what I am to his example. I will miss his stories, insight and love. Downtown Leesburg has lost another lion. Roar on Stanley, roar on."

"Stanley was my first friend in Leesburg, when my husband Otto brought me to meet him and purchase a diamond pendant," commented Anne Mahoney Bunai. "They were both members of 'the greatest generation.' They had seen so much in their lifetimes and worked so hard for American freedom and American excellence. Now, I will miss them both so much. I felt better for knowing Stanley was still with us. He will be sorely missed. A gentleman and a scholar. And a humble soul. May you rest in peace."

Leesburg businessman Michael O'Connor owns the building Caulkins Jewelers occupied before it was impacted by the fire. O'Connor told the Times-Mirror he knew Caulkins for 30 years, describing him as a well-loved man who will be missed by all who knew him.

O'Connor said he spent quite a bit of time with him over the last week and said Caulkins was honored to be be saluted and thanked by Mayor Kelly Burk during Tuesday's Town Council meeting. Caulkins was watching at home.

"He was a pillar of the Leesburg community," O'Connor said. "He never had a bad word to say."


I recall one of the brothers kindly repairing a set of cuff-links I’d left there, when they were still on King Street.  They did this for free.  I’m happy though the space of their old shop is begin used by the Haas family for their excellent Black Hoof brewery.

RIP Stan

Both brothers were very pleasant and knowledgeable. They don’t make them like those 2 anymore. I own a watch that was purchased through their store by my since departed significant other. It will always hold a special place with me.

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