The passing this week of Harry Ofilos, who for 32 years owned and operated Brown’s Pharmacy on Winthrop St., marks the end of an era in our town for all who knew this kind and compassionate man.
When Harry purchased Brown’s in 1984, the corner drugstore, a symbol of Main St. America, already was becoming an anachronism, thanks to the sprouting of the large-chain pharmacies that were taking over in communities both big and small.
However, Harry persisted in his business for the simple reason that not only did he love being a pharmacist (for which he trained at the prestigious Mass. College of Pharmacy and during two years in the Army as a Pharmacist and Specialist at Ft Jackson, South Carolina, during the Vietnam conflict), but just as importantly, he loved serving the public.
During his more than three decades at Brown’s, Harry made countless friends and long-time customers who came to know and trust him in a way that at one time was common-place in every community in America, but which nowadays is rare.
Whether you were picking up your medication, or just in for a coffee and donut, all who walked through the doors at Brown’s could be sure that Harry would be a friendly face waiting to greet you.
In describing Harry Ofilos, the words of the poet Wordsworth come to mind:
The best portion of a good man’s life:
his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.
Harry Ofilos will be missed by all who knew him. May he rest in peace.