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Family takes over Ashland hardware store in honor of late father who died from COVID

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 9:42 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Thursday is a bittersweet day for one Nebraskan family. They’ve dealt with heartbreak from COVID-19, but through their sadness they’re accomplishing one family member’s lifetime goal.

The Hardware store on North 14th Street in Ashland has been known as C & L Hardware. On Thursday, it changed to S & L Hardware to honor its new owners, Sandy Lemon and her late husband Larry. In January Larry died from COVID-19, and it was his goal to own the hardware store.

”It’s bittersweet,” Sandy said. “To me he should be here, but he’s not. I know he’s with us. It’s an emotional day.”

The plan for the Lemons was to take over the hardware store on January 1, but Larry got sick on December 30.

”He was in the hospital for five days, came home for a couple, and then went back until he passed away January 22,” Sandy said.

The past few months have been a blur, she said, but the decision to take over the store was never in doubt.

”He grew up here and he worked here since it opened in 2013,” she said. “He just wanted to stay here.”

”I’ve told my mom we have to fulfill my dad’s dream because this is what he wanted,” said Jessica James, manager of S & L Hardware and Larry’s daughter. “I know he’s smiling down on us.”

Larry is actually smiling down on his family and friends in the store as a memorial has been hung over the main door.

“I think it’s just heartwarming seeing the sign finally up knowing this was his dream,” Sandy said. “We had t-shirts and sweatshirts made, and just being here and knowing it’s ours, and doing it for him.”

The hours have remained the same. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Sunday’s 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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