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Family mourning loss of founders of Oakdell Pharmacy chain

Couple killed in crash last Friday

SAN ANTONIO – The family behind the Oakdell Pharmacy chain is grieving the loss of the owners after a tragic car accident.

The husband and wife had served San Antonio for more than 50 years. They opened one of the first pharmacies in the Medical Center.

When the founders of the Medical Center were putting plans to paper, they knew someone would have to fill prescriptions. John and Beverly Carson opened Oakdell Pharmacy in 1969 on Oak Manor Drive in the old Oakdell Building.

That location has since turned into apartments, but with Beverly Carson keeping the books and John Carson with the vision, they expanded to five locations across San Antonio.

"(They) really couldn't have one without the other," said their son, Jeff Carson, who is a pharmacist and chief of staff of the company.

Over the decades, the family survived growth and competition from national chains.

On Friday night, the two 76-year-olds died. They veered off U.S. Highway 90 Alternate as they were heading to San Antonio from their ranch outside of Gonzalez.

"I miss 'em a lot, you know? I won't get to talk to them again," Jeff Carson said.

Jeff Carson said his father's ability to create medicines from raw materials, an emphasis on personal care, and even helping sick animals at the zoo made him unique.

"Always the innovator, the dreamer," Jeff Carson said. "There are a lot of patients that fall through the cracks that need just a little bit more care, a little bit more attention. My father always instilled that in his employees."

The family says the ownership of the chain will stay in the family, and there will be no changes to employees or locations.

"They're the heart and soul of Oakdell," said Nancy Buntyn, the retail manager at the current Medical Center location, just a half mile from where the chain started.

"Gonna greatly miss either one of them, coming in on a daily basis, weekly, they come in, ask about our families. They're the heart and soul of Oakdell," Buntyn said.

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