Rod Deuel Retires from Shopko
January 10, 2019
Pharmacist Rod Deuel, a 1970 graduate of Superior High School is retiring. Following high school, Rod pursued a business profession other than pharmacy when enrolling in college. While attending the Superior schools, he enjoyed math but did not excel in science. He thought being a pharmacist, like his late father Keith, was out of the question. He thought he was “not qualified to be a pharmacist.” He graduated from Kearney State College with a business degree in 1974.
After operating a drug store in another community, his father had moved to Superior several years earlier and purchased the Lesh Drug Store then located at 314 Commercial. The store was outgrowing the 25-foot store front and plans were made to move to a larger location. Rod returned to Superior to help his father with the move.
The grand opening of the enlarged Deuel Pharmacy was held the first weekend in August of 1976. After 15 years on the east side of the street in a building which had housed a pharmacy for decades, the Deuel Pharmacy move to a much larger space on the west side of Central Street was completed on July 4.
The new store replaced a jewelry store and an adjoining plumbing shop. Rod served as the manager of the store’s front-end merchandising and was overseer of the move.”
After approximately 11 years working in the store, Rod enrolled in Fairbury Community College. There he took the science courses that were necessary before being accepted into pharmacy school. At Fairbury, Rod recalled, “I did a lot better than I thought I would.”
When he finished pharmacy school, Keith, (Rod’s father) did not want to retire or even cut back on his work load. Rod became a “relief pharmacist” traveling about Nebraska filling in for pharmacists who needed or wanted to take time off. He traveled from Lincoln to Grant and Ogallala until his dad retired and he took over operation of the Superior store.
In 2003 Rod accepted employment with Pamida. He closed his store and became the pharmacist for Pamida’s Superior store. The Pamida store later became a ShopKo Hometown Store.
Rod’s favorite part of his work was working with his customers. He enjoyed helping them with their medications and making sure they took the medications properly. When he saw a customer in the store, he made sure they got the help they needed. He said, “Many of my customers became my friends.”
He appreciates his education because it continued to help him be of service to others. He also liked the retail aspect of his work. Twenty-one years ago he became the first Nebraska pharmacist to be certified to give vaccinations. “I’m proud of it!” “I was able to give flu, pneumonia and shingles shots. I was also able to give other shots as well, like patients’ monthly medications.
“Since 1983, I’ve seen many changes in the pharmaceutical profession. The utilization of computers has made it impossible to be a Pharmacist without one. A certified pharmacy tech can count medications and fill prescriptions from the computer. They just can’t advise patients and they cannot make medical decisions. There are new medications coming out. Dosing is different and the ways to administer medicines are different.”
Although Rod enjoyed his work, he said it was difficult to get away for any length of time to visit his family. He said, “Finding a fill-in was like pulling hen’s teeth. Holidays are especially hard to get away in the retail business. My sister, Susan, in South Dakota and I decided to have Christmas on Valentine’s Day. We called it Valentinemas. On my way back home to Superior, I hit a blizzard. Once was enough for us!”
Rod plans to visit all of the 20 plus wineries in Nebraska. There is a passport to the wineries and if the passport is stamped with all of the participating wineries then the “taster” may get a prize! Other plans include visiting his sisters, Janet in Colorado, Susan in South Dakota and Peggy in Lincoln, Neb., and nieces and nephews. He’s also planning on getting to know his long-lost cousins. Connecting with his family is important to him.
Rod plans to stay active in the local Elks Lodge and is entering the state level of the organization. “I also want to be more involved in my church.” he said.