When I moved to Santa Monica in 1984, I was told to open a charge account at Patton’s Pharmacy on Lincoln and Montana. This was in case I needed to get a prescription filled and delivered to my home if I was too sick to go in to pick up the medication. It was good advice.
Once when I was interviewing co-owner Paul Leoni, I asked how he managed to run his business and be so active in the community. His ability to multi-task was most likely due to his wife, Marilyn, who was busy ordering and stocking gifts, cards, toys, books, personal items, and more. She was gracious and always as helpful as he was. And, because both were so caring and willing to share their knowledge, they often became friends with their many longtime customers.
If you needed a gift, Marilyn had the perfect suggestions. Paul was happy to discuss your questions about your prescriptions.
In the fall of 2018, Paul made the tough but gratifying decision to retire. He had been running Patton’s since 1980. Marilyn had retired after teaching for over 30 years to spend more time at the pharmacy.
For a while, Paul still went in to the store to help the new staff from Pharmaca, who had bought his business. Customers would come up to him and tell him how they missed seeing him and Marilyn. "My favorite part of my career has been the people," Paul explained, "I've had the most amazing customers and employees anyone could ask for, and it's been my pleasure to work with everyone."
Our community shares the loss of Marilyn’s presence with Paul and their family. Many of our lives were enriched by their friendship for so many years.
During this month of Thanksgiving, let’s continue to show appreciation to the wonderful merchants and residents in our community.
By Diane Margolin