After 36 years of business in the Albany Community, Albany’s True Value hardware store on Railroad Avenue will be closing its doors for good at the end of July.

“It’s just time to close,” said the store’s owner, Irene Ohmann.

Irene, 81, has operated the store since the start, when she and her first husband, Dick Aleshire, opened in 1983. The store’s original location was in the building where Albany Country Floral is housed, on the corner of Railroad Avenue and Fourth Street. The couple rented the space for two years.

In 1985, the two purchased the building they are in today, located next to Albany Home Bakery on Railroad Avenue. The building previously served as a variety store.

Aleshire had previous experience in the hardware business; he worked at a store in Princeton when the couple resided in Zimmerman as newlyweds.

“When we moved to Albany I helped more in the store,” Irene said.

Owning the shop was a big step for their business, and the hardware store became part of Albany’s façade on Railroad Ave.

When Dick passed away suddenly in 1988, Irene opted to continue the store on her own.

“I didn’t really have a choice,” she said. “I didn’t know what else I would do.”

Irene remarried Bob Ohmann in 1992 and continued running the hardware store.

Through the years, the store has seen good and bad times, but regardless of the season, Irene enjoyed helping people in her shop.

“That’s something she always did,” said Joan Krause, Irene’s stepdaughter. “If someone needed help finding something, she walked right to it. She could find just about anything in the store.”

Krause and other family members are helping Irene with the sale of the store and remainder of inventory.

“The store is listed with a realtor, and we still have quite a bit of inventory, so people should come sooner rather than later if they need something,” Krause said.

Irene has been the woman behind the business for over three decades. Over the years, her day-to-day duties have changed slightly with technology; however, she remained steadfast in her long-established routines.

“I’ve never gotten along with computers,” Irene said. “I prefer to keep records by hand.”

Although Irene is looking forward to less worry and stress, she enjoyed running her own business and will miss visiting with the customers and interacting with the community.

“I don’t want to sit at home alone all day,” she said. “I like seeing people here in the store.”

She hopes to stay involved in the community in any way she can.

“I’ve enjoyed working here, but it will be nice to relax a little,” she said.