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    Pharmacy: The family profession

    A few months ago, Drug Topics launched the series "Pathways through Pharmacy," to give working pharmacists the opportunity to describe some of the many ways they have found meaning, purpose, satisfaction, and reward in the profession. A surprising number of pharmacists we have heard from belong to "pharmacy families," including Pete Kreckel ["All in the family: Two generations in pharmacy"] and Irwin Woldman ["Pharmacists by the dozen"]. The latest to join the ranks is Fred Schenker, who shares his story below. 

    My name is Fred Schenker, RPh. When I read Irwin Woldman’s story about all his pharmacist relatives [“Pharmacists by the dozen," July 9, 2014; www.drugtopics.com], I decided to write in and tell you about what pharmacy has meant to my family.

    The family

    I am part of a three-generation pharmacy family.

    My grandfather, Emanuel Schenker, RPh, owned and operated the Biber Apotheke at Porzellangasse 5 in Vienna, Austria, from the latter part of the 1800s until he passed away in the 1920s. After well over 100 years, this pharmacy is still in operation at the same location!

    My mother, Ethel, worked at the Biber when she was a student at the University of Vienna pharmacy school. That’s how she met my father, Ludwig Schenker, MPh (Emanuel's son). My parents came to the United States in 1922 on their honeymoon and decided to stay, leaving my Grandpa minus his most important staff.

    My dad worked at many Manhattan- and Bronx-based pharmacies till 1942, when he purchased Blaine Drug on Burnside Avenue in the Bronx. He owned that pharmacy until ill health forced him to close it in 1972.

    My brother, Richard Schenker, RPh, graduated from Brooklyn College of Pharmacy in 1949. He worked at the Blaine for many years before he bought and operated several of his own pharmacies in Manhattan and the Bronx. Unfortunately, he passed away prematurely at age 46, and my dad passed away several months later.

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