With the passing of Meyer Denmark in Florida, a name linking the merchant community of Steubenville and Weirton with the past has died.
Denmark was 93 when he died July 17. His brother, Morris, died at age 93 in February 2013.
At one time, Denmark's women's clothing stores in Steubenville and Weirton were the go-to place for middle- and upper-class ladies seeking fashion and quality to shop. Afternoons were passed under the watchful assistance of knowledgeable salesladies serving the women of the region with the kind of personal service now available only in the finest of stores.
Both Denmarks had served in the Army during World War II and became co-owners of the family's clothing stores after the war. They were the kind of men emblematic of the mid-20th century American small business owner, the community merchant, active in his community and his church.
Meyer Denmark led an active life after retirement, golfing, sailing and playing tennis into his 80s in Florida and then Georgia.
His family had helped shape 20th century Steubenville and Weirton and the memory of the Denmark name brings a certain nostalgia for those days when the local merchant reigned supreme in small-town retail, the customers and salespeople knew each other by name and the owners were proud of their community beyond the shop's front door.
May Mr. Denmark rest in peace.