Last operator of Koth's Grocery dies at age 65

loberle@beaufortgazette.comJune 18, 2014 

In this undated photo submitted by the Koth family is Jimmy Koth, pictured in his business, Koth Grocery

SUBMITTED — Submitted photo

Morgan Koth recalls fondly the summers he spent working for his father at Koth's Grocery, the store at the corner of North and Bladen streets that the family ran for about six decades.

Jesse Morgan "Jimmy" Koth Jr., 65, died June 13. A visitation with be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m.

Jimmy Koth, who took over a business started by his uncle, ran the register at the grocery store for about 20 years. The store was evocative of Beaufort's sleepier days and was a neighborhood hangout, Regulars stopped in to play cribbage with Koth, who jotted down their tabs on scraps of paper.

Morgan Koth said that along the way, his father imparted many lessons: Work hard, be honest, be kind.

A story-teller and jokester, Morgan recalls how his father's kindred spirit and open ears drew the community to the store.

"One of the things the community and the people valued about the store is they would go into there and talk to him and he would listen," Morgan said. "They'd go to Koth's Grocery not just to get an Icee or boiled peanuts, but also to talk to someone they thought of as a friend."

Jimmy's daughter, Kelly Koth Lamb, said her father loved the Lowcountry. Jimmy would often take his lunch to Brickyard Point and look out at the water.

"He loved being here, he loved the sea," Kelly said. "He loved his hometown."

Follow reporter Laura Oberle at twitter.com/IPBG_Laura.

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