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Longtime area businessman dies at 79

KITTS HILL — Businessman James Staley, the longtime owner of two Ironton pharmacies, has died. He was 79.

Staley, who died Thursday at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, is being remembered as a businessman, church member and good friend.

Virginia Bryant graduated from Ironton High School with Staley in 1945 and remained friends with him and his wife, Joanna. She also attended First Baptist Church with them. Staley served the church in many capacities over the years and “never knew a stranger,” Bryant said.

“For years he greeted everyone at the door when they came in on Sunday mornings,” she recalled. “He was kind of head usher and he would stop and talk to everyone. He did this every Sunday without fail for years.”

Bryant described Staley as a terrific guy who was devoted to his family.

Others in the community remember Staley as a good businessman whose hallmark was personalized customer service.

“There are not enough nice words you can say about Mr. Staley,” Ironton City Councilman Bob Cleary said. “I knew him as a businessman and his service to the community was tremendous.”

In recognition of his, Staley was honored as Ironmaster of the year in 2001.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Tracy Brammer Funeral Home and are incomplete as of press time.