Russell Conwell Goudy Sr., 89, the former owner of the William A. Kilian Hardware Co. in Chestnut Hill, died March 15 at his home in Gwynedd.
As the proprietor of Kilian’s, Mr. Goudy was widely known in the community for helping customers to find what they were looking for among the tens of thousands of items in the store, always with a smile and often with a good story.
Kilians’s, the oldest hardware store in Philadelphia and an institution in Chestnut Hill, was founded by Willliam A. Kilian in 1913. Kilian’s widow, Minnie Goudy Kilian, left the store to her brother John Nelson in 1945 and subsequently to Mr. Goudy and his late brother Nelson in the 1950’s. Mr. Goudy later transferred ownership to his son Russell Goudy Jr. Until recently, three generations of the family worked together in the store.
Mr. Goudy, who was named for his uncle Russell C. Goudy and Russell H. Conwell, founder of Temple University, was born in Olney and moved to Chestnut Hill when he was 8 years old. He attended John Story Jenks Elementary School and later rode his bike to Springfield High School where he played football and was president of his senior class.
From 1948-1960 he served in the Navy Reserve in Willow Grove as a Navy Aviation Mechanic, 2nd Class.
He married the former Rebecca Shallcross Scull more than 59 years ago in Ocean City, New Jersey, where they had met one summer. They enjoyed working together and traveling to a second home in Rock Hall, Maryland.
Mr. Goudy spoke fondly of his summers at Temple Camp in Collegeville, first as a camper and later as a counselor. In later years he could be seen driving his beloved antique cars, which he restored, winning many trophies in car shows.
In addition to his wife and son Russell Jr., Mr Goudy is survived by a son Keith and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son Rob, and by his brother Nelson.
A celebration of Mr. Goudy’s life is planned for the future. Memorial donations may be made to Cold Point Baptist Church, 5063 Militia Hill Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462. – WF