William Schoepp of Richmond District’s Crown Hardware dies
William Schoepp, longtime owner of Crown Hardware on Balboa Street in the Richmond District, died Aug. 10, just days from what would have been his 84th birthday. Like his hardware store, he was a fixture of Balboa Street for decades.
“He was one of the nicest guys,” said Linda Shah, who said she has worked at Crown Hardware and Lock for about 11 years.
“He always had a smile. I don’t think I ever saw him lose his temper.”
Schoepp opened Crown Hardware in 1957, after working on tugboats in San Francisco Bay and serving in the U.S. Army in the Korean War. He was born in Zion, Ill. in 1927 and moved to San Francisco in 1944. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn, and three children.
Schoepp retired two years ago, said Shah, but she said his sons Greg and Joe took over and intend to keep the store at 3615 Balboa St. open.
The family plans a private memorial soon, according to Shah, but is considering holding a gathering for others to remember Schoepp as well. In the meantime, the hardware store is keeping a book for customers, neighbors and friends to sign and convey their remembrances of Schoepp. A flip through the book is something of a hand-written snapshot of the Richmond District, with many names of neighborhood residents and businesses.
Down the street at Gus’ Discount Tackle, Stephanie Ernst-Scott said that although she didn’t know Schoepp well, he was liked by other neighborhood business owners.
She said the story of the Schoepp family business mirrors her own, and not just because there are few businesses on outer Balboa Street that go back as far.
“The kids took over, just like I did,” said Ernst-Scott, whose father, Gus Ernst, founded the shop at 3710 Balboa St. in 1961.
The Schoepp family has asked for donations to Hospice by the Bay in lieu of flowers.
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