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For Two Area Pharmacies, Every Day Is Father's Day

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DUNN — Father's Day means different things to different people, but for two daughters in two area pharmacies, it means working side by side with their dads.

Bill Burch and his daughter, Jennifer, operate the Central Medical Pharmacy in Durham.

"Having Jennifer here, it's nice to have a family member around," says Burch.

"Working with my dad is great," says Jennifer.

Sixty miles away in Dunn, Paige Houston and her father, Larry Thomas, run the Thomas Drug Store.

"(My dad's being a pharmacist) sparked an interest in me from a very young age," says Houston.

"It's really an honor to you (to have your daughter follow you)," says Thomas.

The similarities between the two community pharmacies do not end there, however.

Larry Thomas went to Carolina with Bill Burch, and Bill's daughter Jennifer went to Campbell University with Larry's daughter, Paige.

Two fathers, two daughters, one profession linking the past, the present, and what they hope will be the future.

"I know my dad appreciates me being here, because he gets a day off he didn't get before," says Jennifer Burch.

"The goal is for it to be hers in the next two or three years," says Bill Burch.

That is where the similarities end. Three years ago, Thomas suffered a stroke. That meant Paige had to take over the business, just three years out of college.

"The three years I had with him working, I didn't learn everything. So believe me, I call him every day. I'm glad he's still a phone call away," says Houston.

Houston runs their pharmacy with her sister, Kathy. Thomas still comes in a few hours every week.

The pharmacies have served their respective communities, in Dunn and Durham, for a combined 84 years, and with the daughters following in their father's footsteps, that will likely continue for sometime. And that might be the best Father's Day present of all.


Ken Smith, Reporter
Edward Wilson, Photographer
Julian King, Web Editor

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