Magazine article Drug Topics

Untimely Death Keeps R.Ph. from Enjoying His Lottery Win

Magazine article Drug Topics

Untimely Death Keeps R.Ph. from Enjoying His Lottery Win

Article excerpt

pharmacists and patients in South Dallas are mourning the death of Johnny R. Brewster. The owner and operator of Citizens Pharmacy for nearly 20 years, Brewster won a $12.9 million lottery in May 1995 and then died of a heart attack last month, after collecting only one of his 20 annual installments. He was only 49.

All this money might have compromised the sensibilities of another man, but, friends said, Brewster didn't allow his newfound wealth to change him, other than by becoming even more generous with his family, friends, and customers. Those who remember him said he had already made his mark in the community long before he won the lottery.

Did the windfall lead to his untimely death? No one could say. He seemed completely unchanged, his neighbors said, other than allowing himself the luxury of a new Jeep.

According to Arthur Friedman, owner and operator of Friedman's Drugs, just a few miles from Citizens, Brewster "worked the same hours and wore the same kind of clothes-the pharmacist's smock-when he came in here. If it were anyone else, he would have cut down on his work to enjoy his wealth, but I think Johnny felt responsible for taking care of his clientele."

This keen sense of responsibility was apparently an important component in Brewster's overall philosophy. Cora Johns, principal of Joseph J. Rhoads Learning Center, came to view Brewster as a role model for children at her elementary school. "Often, kids interested in pursuing medical professions would go across the street to talk to him," said Johns. …

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