The Owl Pharmacy, one of the oldest institutions in Centerville, has been in business for more than 115 years.
For the past 50 of those years, the same family has owned the pharmacy. In July 1964 Rollie Reznicek bought the business and moved his family to Centerville. In 1992 he sold it to his son, Frank Reznicek.
Rollie, who still works part time in the pharmacy, has been a licensed pharmacist for 59 years.
“I’ve never regretted it a day,” Rollie said. “I’ve loved going to work every day. I just feel like I can be a benefit to the community and a benefit to individuals.”
To celebrate the anniversary, the Owl Pharmacy is having 50-cent specials on some selected over-the-counter items. In addition, customers can sign up to win a trip for two to Hawaii, with the drawing on July 4. There also will be a customer appreciation day in mid-July.
A lot has changed since Rollie started practicing in 1955. For one, pharmaceutical companies at the time were just starting to manufacture more medicines in pill form, so pharmacists prepared many medicines for patients in liquid form. For another, Rollie remembers, people were often reluctant to go to the doctor because of the cost.
“Those were difficult times,” he said. “We served as a filter to help people realize if their condition was minor, or if their condition was serious and they should see a doctor.”
The Rezniceks were drawn to Centerville by the opportunity to purchase the successful pharmacy. Rollie met his wife, Lucy, at Creighton University, where he studied pharmacy. Lucy was from Iowa, and after Rollie served for a few years in the military she was ready to move back to her home state. Rollie accepted a position at a pharmacy in Mount Pleasant.
A few years later, and by then with six children to raise, Rollie and Lucy decided it was time to strike out on their own. The couple started investigating community pharmacies for sale in Iowa towns with populations under 10,000. They looked at about 30 stores for sale then worked it down to three.