Richard "Dick" Valore lived a life without regrets, Rev. Jeff Kane told numerous friends and family members during funeral services at Drinkwine Mortuary today.
"For 79 years, he put the pedal to the metal," he said of Valore, who died Nov. 2.
Most will remember Valore as the friendly owner of Valore Hardware, always ready to help you find that elusive whatchamacallit. His store was filled floor to rafter with, well, everything a hardware store might have needed since Valore's grandfather built it in 1927.
"You could find anything there – from horse collars to lamp shades," says long-time Littleton resident Ray Koernig. "I still remember the smell of the hardwood floors and the comfortable feeling of a small-town business."
Before Valore retired and closed the store in 2004, it was the longest continuously operating business on Main Street. The building is McKinners Pizza Bar now, and owner Keven Kinaschuck still displays the Valore Hardware sign above the kitchen.
Valore didn't spend his entire life in the family business, though. After graduating from Littleton High School, he attended Colorado School of Mines and the University of Denver, where he earned a degree in chemical engineering and the affection of the love of his life, Katherine. They were married 58 years.
"He was a man who held hands with his wife, and not only held them, but caressed them," said Rev. Kane. "That's what love is."
The couple moved for a while to Seattle, where Valore worked for Boeing Aeronautics. But home called to his heart, and he took a job at Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) until taking over the hardware store in 1974.
The Valores had three children and six grandchildren. Grandaughter Andrea ended the service today with a sweet reminder that "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow," before mourners left for Littleton Cemetery.
Share your favorite memories of Mr. Valore. Mine is from when he and his wife were the first "Pumpkin King and Queen." I'm not sure they thought it was an honor, but they seemed to enjoy the festivities!
Dick and Kathy Valore were the 2003 Western Welcome Week Grand Marshals. That was the 75th anniversary of WWW, and the theme was "Homecoming." They were chosen for the longevity of Valore Hardware on Main Street. Mr. Valore was the third generation to run the store. Photo Courtesy of Western Welcome Week