Customers, employees of independent Evans City pharmacy mourn sudden death of longtime owner

EVANS CITY, Pa. — Jeff Mustovic, the longtime owner of a beloved neighborhood pharmacy called Evans City Pharmacy and Gift Shoppe passed away suddenly last week.

“Jeff was one of those gentlemen on whom a small community like this is built. He’s a family man, small business person, a person dedicated to his craft and went out of his way to service people,” said Mark Wilson, Jeff’s friend and Forward Township supervisor.

His customers and employees are devastated. They said he meant so much to the community and impacted so many people. He knew everyone by name and helped anyone who walked through the door.

“He just went out of his way to do whatever he could to make people happy and get their meds. He was a great man,” said longtime customer George Steele.

His employees said he was more than just a boss.

“It was losing a friend and losing someone who really cared about everyone in the community,” said employee Debbie Reppert.

“He was a wonderful pillar of this community he was there for anyone who needed anything he did his best,” said employee Dana Cucklar.

Last month, Channel 11 interviewed Mustovic. He told Channel 11 he was losing tens of thousands of dollars and his business was in jeopardy because his pharmacy and many others were not being fairly reimbursed for medications. He told us he had to make enormous sacrifices to stay open for his community.

>>> Local independent pharmacy fighting to stay open despite losing money to fill prescriptions

“That’s what is keeping me here for 35 years I’ve been part of this community and I love these people to death for the loyalty they’ve shown me,” Mustovic told us.

The story aired the day before he died. He never got to watch it.

“Unfortunately, the stress that this place put on him because of what’s going on, it took the life out of him,” said employee Dana Cucklar.

“The aspect, when I think back, basically working for free to take care of all of us is what he was doing; he loved us indescribably,” said a longtime customer, Becky MacKay.

“He cared so deeply about his patients, customers and this community, and I feel we took it granted because he was always, not sometimes, always here,” said David English, a longtime customer.

Right now, there are a lot of questions surrounding the future of this pharmacy. Before he died, Jeff told Channel 11 his plan was to stay open and continue his business model which was helping his community.

“We don’t measure success in prescriptions filled, I measure success in how many people did I help today and every day,“ Mustovic said.

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