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Businessman Gene Sheridan remembered fondly

The sign outside KC Joe's Pennzoil reads, "In memory of an icon: Gene Sheridan, gone to heaven to be with his loving wife, Liz. Love you, family, friends, J.C."

Former Ironton businessman Eugene "Gene" Sheridan died Saturday at the age of 93. Sheridan was the owner of East End Hardware on South Third Street, a business started by his family in the late 1800s.

He operated the store until his retirement in 1983. At that time, his son and daughter-in-law, Vincent and Debbie Sheridan continued operation until the store closed in 2003.

Those who knew Sheridan describe him in fond terms, and said he will be missed.

"He was an easy going, great guy," said Joe Coburn, owner of K.C. Joe's. "He was just a special person that the people loved."

Tom Allyn, of Allyn's Jewelry, described Sheridan as "quite a character. He was a gentleman from the word 'go.' He loved horses. He was at the hardware store every day until he was, I guess, in his eighties. … He liked joking and carrying on. I knew him, knew all his boys. The family has had quite a history in this town."

In addition to the family business that Sheridan operated, people also knew him as a faithful member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and as a family man. Mary Beth Nenni attended church with Sheridan.

"He's going to be missed," she said. "With all of his children and grandchildren, what a legacy he has left in this town."

Sheridan is survived by 11 children, 25 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren. His funeral will be 10 a.m. today at St. Joseph Catholic Church.