Route 66 News

Longtime co-owner of historic Girard drugstore dies

Bob Deck, longtime co-owner of the historic Deck’s Drug Store in Girard, Ill., that later became Doc’s Soda Fountain, died Thursday at a hospital in Springfield, according to an obituary by Davis-Anderson Funeral Homes. He was 82.

This recent video, produced by the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, captures the memorable atmosphere of Doc’s Soda Fountain, and includes interviews with Bob Deck and his brother Bill, also a longtime co-owner of the drugstore:

Bob Deck’s grandfather started Deck’s Drug Store in downtown Girard in 1884. Bob Deck was the third generation in the business when he became a registered pharmacist and co-owner with his brother Bill in 1960. The soda fountain dates to 1929, and remains in operation today. The Decks also maintained displays of old drugs and pharmacy equipment.

Bob Deck retired in 2001. When Bob and Renae Ernst bought the drugstore building in 2007 and renamed it Doc’s Soda Fountain, the Decks loaned them their pharmacy collection. Doc’s Soda Fountain became a popular stop for Route 66 travelers and nostalgia buffs.

Bob is survived by his brother Bill.

Visitation will be Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Davis-Anderson Funeral Home in Girard. Graveside services will b  Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Girard Cemetery. Memorials can be made to the Parkway Christian Church, Girard Township Library, or the Girard Community Center.


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