KENTLAND — After 52 years in business, Dave Smart is retiring and Home Furnishings in Kentland will be having huge sales through the end of the year.
“I had always said that I would never retire but because of health issues now is the time,” said Smart.
Smart has battled with cancer, which is now in remission, had two bouts of pneumonia, and suffered a stroke a year ago that left him in a coma for 12 days.
“My family has been after me to retire, and I guess they finally convinced me,” Smart said.
Smart added that a liquidator has bought his entire inventory and the “going out of business sale” will continue to the end of the year and will feature new inventory each week until the offsite warehouse is cleared out.
“If my health was ok, I would continue to stay in business,” said Smart. “I enjoyed every minute of business here in Kentland. I love the customers and I learned if you treat them right, they will treat you right.”
While Home Furnishings will close at the end of the year, services area residents have counted on for years will continue.
“My brother-in-law Ken McMillian will continue to service the appliances in the area, while Steve Neagle will service the TVs,” said Smart.
Smart was just 24 years old and fresh out of the military when he opened Home Furnishings with John Tubyfill and Harold Beasley. Smart would later buy out his partners to become the sole owner of the store.
“I have so many memories here,” added Smart. “My entire family grew up here. It is definitely bittersweet. I appreciate the support of every single citizen of this town and area. It has been a privilege to serve them while having fun in the process. I had a lot of people come into the store recently just to thank me, and that means so much to me.”
Smart also said that his wife, sons, and daughter helped him a lot throughout his health issues.
“I wouldn’t be here right now without them,” said Smart.
Over his tenure in business, Smart helped numerous customers and that support was seen on Facebook and hundreds of people made posts about his retirement.
“Dave has helped me furnish my home and has been a kind soul to know. What a blessing to our community for all these years,” posted Tonya Lynn.
“I am sorry to hear this as Dave has been an asset to the Kentland community for years! I have purchased many things from there over the years and had services done as well. Thanks, Dave for your wonderful and caring service. May God bless you in retirement,” posted Kathy Childress.
After the closing sale, Smart hopes to sell the building along US 24 and then focus on retirement at his farm in Jackson Township that he calls his “man cave.”
This past summer, Smart was honored and recognized for his more than two decades of service to the town as an elected official. The pond at Cast Park was officially named Dave’s Pond during a surprise dedication ceremony.