Fillharts dispense medication, joy at Joseph P. Hall

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 16, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Dalene and Spencer Fillhart dispense a great deal of joy, along with medicine, to customers of Joseph P. Hall Drug Company.

Spencer is an assistant manager and Dalene is a certified pharmacist technician at Suffolk’s longest continually operating business.

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The couple met in 1963 at church in Ohio when both were only 11 years old and married eight years later.

Both were born in Ohio and attended public schools there.

After they married, Dalene settled down to become a housewife and mother of three children.

&uot;I had my children really fast,&uot; she said. &uot;That in itself was a full-time job.&uot;

Their children are George, 31, Tonya, 30, and Spencer, 29. The Fillharts are also the grandparents of three with another on the way.

In 1972, Spencer became employed as the manager of a gas station in Findlay, Ohio and in 1974 he joined the U.S. Navy.

In 1997 he retired from the U.S. Navy as a Senior Chief Boiler Technician after serving 22 years, nine months and four days. He started working at Joseph P. Hall that same year. Dalene began working there two years earlier.

They are now living in Suffolk and said that they are here to stay. In their spare time away from the business, they focus their attention on family and each other.

Names? Spencer Fillhart and Dalene Fillhart

Ages? We are both 50.

Volunteer activities? When we are not working we enjoy being with members of our motorcycle club which is a group of

retired military people who do all that they can to help others. There are 55 people in the group and what makes it special is that each year we choose a special family at Christmas and supply them with food and other necessary items. About 15 bikes also ride 150 miles together annually to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Foundation.

Favorite thing about life in Suffolk? Spencer: In the middle of everything but next to nothing. Dalene: Small town atmosphere.

Why did you pursue your chosen career? Spencer: Pride in my country and a better way of life for my family. Dalene: I felt it would be very interesting learning about all the different medications and how they work in the body.

Favorite thing about your job? Spencer: Meeting and helping people everyday and talking with everyone.

Dalene: The great customers we have at the store.

Least favorite thing about your job? Spencer: The risk of robbery or getting hurt during one. Dalene: Trying to help people who refuse to help themselves.

What accomplishments are you proudest of? Spencer: My military career and all of my family and the way they turned out. Dalene: My three fabulous children.

Who or what motivates and inspires you? Spencer: My children and grandchildren. Dalene: My family-I am very blessed.

Favorite way to spend your free time? Spencer: Riding my motorcycle and hunting and fishing. Dalene: With my husband and family watching movies and playing games.

What words of wisdom would you like to share with others? Spencer: Family first, friends second, then take care of yourself. Dalene: Always take time with your family and good friends because they are most important.

What ingredients are in the recipe for a good life? Spencer: Keep the family together and happy and all the rest falls into place. Dalene: Always be considerate to others.

We all have our &uot;15 minutes of fame&uot; in this life. How would you spend your time in the spotlight? Spencer: Collecting the jackpot from the lottery. Dalene: Thanking my mother and father for all the great values they taught me. I could never have received any fame without that.

How has the tragedy in New York and Washington, D.C., in September 2001, impacted your life? Spencer: It makes me proud to have served my country in the Navy and to be an American. Dalene: It has made me appreciate life and the freedom we have in this wonderful country.