A Tribute to IGA Retailer Richard Scheck

Apr 14, 2021

Independent grocery retail is a lifestyle, and for Scheck's IGA Owner Richard Scheck, it was a business he lived and breathed for his entire lifetime. The son of an independent grocer, Scheck dedicated nearly 70 years of his life to the business and his community, serving as a true Hometown Proud example before he passed away on March 4, 2021.

Over the course of his lifetime, the family owned about five independent grocery stores in Ohio, living above the first store that they built themselves. "They cut the trees down in the woods and dragged them out with horses," says Margaret Coblentz, Scheck's daughter. By the time he was about 11 years old, Scheck was working at one of the family's stores (the original Scheck's IGA, now called Stake's IGA), and eventually he opened his own in Shreve, Ohio with the help—and advice—of his father. "My grandpa helped fund this property because of the location," Coblentz says.

Scheck spent most of his time at the store, ensuring his employees felt valued and his shoppers had what they needed. "He always put everyone else first," Coblentz, who works as the meat department manager at Scheck's IGA, says. "He always tried to work around employees' schedules when he could, because he wanted them to be there and he valued them."

Scheck's passing has made a huge impact on the store and the team, who are honoring his memory by stepping up to take on more responsibility, according to Coblentz. With some former employees returning to help temporarily and others taking on more shifts, Coblentz and her mother Linda, who was married to Richard for 60 years, are touched and grateful for the support.

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The loss has been felt throughout the community. "I’ve had customers tell me it's been hard for them to come in the store because they were so used to him greeting them," Coblentz says. One man even came in to share a story of Scheck's kindness with Coblentz. "He told me that my dad didn’t even know him, but when his house burnt down, my dad gave him a gift certificate for groceries to help out."

There are more stories of Scheck helping individuals out, too. Coblentz shares that occasionally someone would come in and tell Scheck they needed gas and didn't have any money. "My dad would give him $10-20 out of his pocket. For the most part people paid him back, but that’s just the kind of person he was," she says. 

Scheck made sure to help community groups, as well, sponsoring soapbox derby cars, and softball and baseball teams over the years. He was always in the businessman’s association in town, which put on fireworks, participated in the Lion's Club, and did other community work.

"He was a good person—he always had patience with customers," Coblentz says. The town of Shreve has lost a pillar to the community, but Richard Scheck's legacy remains through the lives he impacted with his kindness, patience, and charity.

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