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Saying goodbye: Oldest store in Arizona set to close its doors

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Saying goodbye: Oldest store in Arizona set to close its doors

CREATED Dec 29, 2012

Reporter: Marcelino Benito

WILLCOX, Ariz.(KGUN9-TV) -Right along the railroad in Willcox, sits a store that's stood tall against the test of time.

"The town really grew around the store," said Patti Siedel.

It's been a fixture in this tiny town. But now shelves are empty as they  prepare to say goodbye.

"I have people coming in here everyday in tears, saying this has been a part of their life," said Siedel.

But to the Siedel family it's been more than just a part. The store's been like a family member.

"I don't know what we're going to do," she said holding back tears. "The customers aren't the only ones that cry."

Patti's father bought Willcox Commercial 40 years ago. Today, Richard Siedel is 88-years-old, but together with his children and now his grandchildren, he's kept it up and running. A place for family to get together, a place to play, a place to call their own.

"We've grown up here," said John Siedel, Richard's son. "Our kids have grown up here."

"I just wonder what it's going to be like," Patti said. "This has been my life for the last 40 years."

All in all, there's been 132 years of sales, merchandise, and history for this tiny Southern Arizona town.

"It means a lot to us all," said John.

To the Siedel's it's about a lot more than the sales or even the store. It's about the moments and memories they created inside it.

"Walking out was very surreal," said one of Richard's grandchildren. "This whole place is empty now. It's really sad. The end of an era for our family."

The store will officially close its doors on December 31st, but the family hopes somone steps up to buy the building and keep the tradition alive.