McNairy County icon closes its doors on lifetime of memories

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SELMER, Tenn. — It is the end of an era for what many call an icon of West Tennessee. After more than 80 years in business, a pharmacy that has been the staple of a downtown community will lock up for the last time. Rexall Pharmacy’s legacy has been built up the past six decades by Bobby Mitchell. It is a place with much more than a prescription drop-off. “People as close as we all are together, it goes way back, and you do build great memories from that,” Selmer resident Freddie Thomas said. Monday is a bittersweet day as friends gather for the final time. Tuesday afternoon, Mitchell will lock up his pharmacy for good, having worked there since he was a high school freshman. He only took a break to attend pharmacy school in Memphis. He and his then-girlfriend, who later became his wife, went on dates at the pharmacy as high school students. The booth where they sat is still in the building. The pharmacist never knew it would be the place from which he’d retire. “A kid didn’t think that far ahead. I was working here when I was a freshman in high school for 25 cents an hour,” Mitchell said. Mitchell later took over and worked with his wife, Tommye, for more than 20 years. Turning 80, Mitchell said it was time to make some decisions, which means the pharmacy with so many memories inside will now become a memory itself. “This was our family, and it’s going to be difficult to close this door tomorrow and lock it,” Tommye Mitchell said. The building will soon be vacant, but the couple said they now can enjoy life with family and friends, and most importantly one another. The remaining contents of the pharmacy were sold to a local company in McNairy County. County officials said the building will be vacant until they have a buyer.

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