PAMPA, TX (KFDA) - It's been an emotional few days for Bill Hite and his staff at the Heard-Jones Health Mart in Pampa.
Hite has called Pampa home for more than 48 years. He raised his two children and owned and operated Heard-Jones -- which has become an icon for the community.
"You very seldom ever see a full line drug store, with a pharmacy and with a full line fountain," said Hite. "We serve breakfast, lunch, it's just a special deal."
For a long time, the idea of closing the shop never crossed Hite's mind, until last summer when his wife was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
"We're going to move to Dallas, I will be back with my wife and my two adult children," said Hite.
For Hite, it's not just leaving his business behind, it's also leaving his friends and the employees who have become a family to him.
"I have an amazing boss, amazing co-workers," said employee Stephanie Valdez. "I've learned so much from them and I'm going to miss them dearly."
Heard-Jones has been a staple for Pampa and many are understanding that the is store closing, but it's also become a worry for the future of Downtown Pampa.
"Bill's been a good anchor downtown, he's brought a lot of customers down here," said Ken Rheams, who owns Rheams Diamond Shop in Downtown Pampa. "We're just going to have to step up to the plate a little heavier and try to get people to still come downtown and we still want to make downtown strong."
Hite says the building will not stay empty for long and the next owner will help keep Downtown Pampa thriving -- but for now, Hite is working on saying his goodbyes.
United Supermarkets is filling the prescriptions for the customers at Heard-Jones. The leftover merchandise in the store will be donated at an area business.