Chester remembers grocer on the go

January 14, 2009 4:12:11 PM PST
One man's labor of love, serving as a grocer on the go, left an enormous impression on the community of Chester, Delaware County. People who knew and loved him are saddened and wondering how someone could take the life of a man who gave so much.Stuffed animals lined the street and candles still burn all in memory of the man who drove a bus, a grocery store on wheels, through the toughest streets of Chester for almost 20 years.

Police say someone boarded Abe Farkas' bus, robbed him, and shot him multiple times.

The man who often gave his customers credit, often knowing he would never be repaid, is gone.

"He was was well known and well loved by everybody in the whole city," Jill Tull of Chester said.

"You knew he was sweet. It's a tragedy. I just can't believe what happened to him; he didn't deserve it," Kathy Carter of Chester said.

"We will miss him greatly. He was like an uncle, friend, brother, father," Staci Wideman of Chester said.

He was a husband of 36 years to Maureen, a mother and grandmother who begged her husband to give up his roving store on wheels after being robbed twice before.

"He said I love the people, the people love me, and you just have to learn to alive with that," Maureen Beail-Farkas said.

She takes comfort now only beause she can still visit the funeral home before tonight's final goodbye.

"It's easier right now because I can go down there and I can touch Abe and I can feel like he's still there. Now ask me in a couple of days?don't ask me in a couple of days," Maureen said.

"He would pull into a neighborhood just like Jack and Jill would do. He would rign his bell on his bus indicating to the neighbors that he was present and people would come out to buy their goods and that's exactly what they did that night," Captain Joseph Massey of the Chester Police said.

While Abe's family hopes someone will come forward and help police, they want his customers to know one thing, as much as they loved Abe, he loved them back and that's why he drove his bus until the day he died

Fearing loyal customers will resort to street justice, Maureen Farkas reminds tipsters they can call police without leaving their name.

You can get the latest crime statistics from the Philadelphia Police by CLICKING HERE for the force's crime data mapping site.