LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – George Hauck, the creator of the Dainty Fest and long-time store owner, has died. He was 100 years old.
His store, Hauck’s Handy Shop, was a staple in the Schnitzelburg neighborhood. The store opened its doors in 1912 and was sold in January 2019.
At his 99th birthday celebration Hauck said, “I guess if you lead a good clean life, and mind your own business and work like hell, it’s surprising how quick you get there and how fast time goes by and how many wonderful people you have met.”
A parade to celebrate his 100th birthday was held in March.
In addition to the Dainty Fest, Hauck also created the Schnitzelburg #1 Citizen Dinner and was a WWII veteran.
If you hang out in the Germantown-Schnitzelburg area for a little while you are bound to run into someone who has a story about Hauck.
Someone like Richard Singer who hung out at Hauck’s since he was a little boy. He describes the Hauck family as his family, like many other neighbors.
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”If you needed something or was late on something, he would help you out,” Singer said. “If you was hungry, he would feed you.”
What made Hauck’s the heart of the neighborhood for over a century was the man and his family inside.
”He was always so nice to me, he knew my name, he would always cut my lunch meet and we’d laugh and have a good time,” Sylvia Walters said.
What always impressed Walters, a member of the Schniztelburg Area Community Council, was the charity he spread outside of the store.
”He really loved this neighborhood, and everybody loved him. He was the quintessential definition of a good neighbor,” Walters said.
Drawing hundreds each year, every dollar of the Dainty Festival goes to the Little Sisters of the Poor. The city even named the street next to the store that the festival is held on ‘George Hauck Way’.
The Schnitzeberg Area Community Council will continue these beloved traditions, but they’ll be much different without the man who started them and gave his neighborhood its identity.
”He went home in glory and I’m so proud to have known him,” Walters said.
The store is in the middle of a renovation, along with some of the other surrounding properties on Goss Avenue, getting ready for a second generation of small business owners to move in and make a difference.