Mother's Day

Mother, daughter keep it in family

by Brenda Pedraza-Vidamour, Special to The Newnan Times-Herald

alt

Brenda Pedraza-Vidamour

Helga Loesche and Marilyn Petry, a mother-daughter team who has worked at Juliana’s Furniture Gallery for the past 17 years, enjoy a break on one of the couches in the store’s showroom.

Helga Loesche of Newnan adores her boss, has loved her fiercely since the day she was born, and her boss feels the same way about her.

“I love her, and we work good together,” Loesche says about her eldest daughter, Marilyn Petry. The mother-daughter team has worked together at Juliana’s Furniture Galleries in Newnan for the past 17 years.

Loesche started the furniture store in 1986 with her late husband, Walter Loesche. He ran several companies out of the sprawling warehouse that now houses Juliana’s, a fine furniture store. The warehouse was formerly the Atlanta Foreign Trade Zone before he ran into some well-documented legal troubles. Walter Loesche passed away last year from pancreatic cancer.

Helga Loesche had primarily been a homemaker and mother of four girls before opening the furniture store named after one of her daughters. She started the business because she lost her Newnan home in a fire and wanted to replace the furniture.

“Our house burned down. We owned the building, so I decided to do all this,” she said, directing her gaze around the 20,000-square-foot showroom floor. The store is located off Amlajack Boulevard in Shenandoah Industrial Park. Loesche said she was disappointed in the quality of the furniture in the area so she decided to stock her own inventory of fine furniture lines, which include brands such as Bernhardt, King Hickory and Hekman.

Originally from Munich, the diminutive 75-year-old credited her family’s strong sense of perseverance to a grandmother who crawled under the fence separating East Germany from the West. She also tenderly reminisced over how she met her late husband at a German university. She stepped down from the store’s operations after her husband died, but she comes to the store every day. The mother and daughter are loyal companions. Her daughter calls her a wonderful and patient teacher.

“I hope that I can be that patient,” Petry says.

Petry’s son recently started helping out at the store, which is currently undergoing major renovations. He’ll be the third generation of family in the store’s 27-year history.

Petry, a 52-year-old who inherited her mother’s ready smile and gentle fortitude, said her mother opens the store every day, most of the time before she arrives. She’s thankful for her dedication and punctuality, admitting sheepishly that she doesn’t always arrive on time the six days Juliana’s is open during the week, but her mother does.

“She’s always here. She’s dependable. She’s a hard worker,” she says.

Petry recounted how two days earlier Loesche was in a car accident in which her car was T-boned by another and flipped over on its roof. Her mother was trapped and hanging by the shoulder harness. She escaped serious injury. Petry said her mother was ready to return to work the next day. She’s indefatigable.

“Not afraid of anything,” she says.



More Local

Gross winner in Reebok Open

Coweta teenager a world-class CrossFitter

Coweta teen Morgan Gross is the top scorer in the world in her division in the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Open. Gross outscored thousands of Cross ... Read More


International literary group tours Moreland

Moreland played host for a group of Australian literary enthusiasts who are currently participating in the Southern Literary Trail. The goal ... Read More


Newnan location highlighted

Genealogical Society holds soft opening in new facility

After weeks of moving, remodeling and organizing, the Coweta County Genealogical Society held its soft opening this week at its new location ... Read More


Newnan Boys and Girls Club has Power of Words

By Wes Mayer wesley@newnan.com Two members of the Newnan Coweta Boys and Girls Club will be heading to Atlanta next week to show off their p ... Read More


First triplets born at new Piedmont

Until Monday, Piedmont Newnan Hospital had yet to see any triplets born at its new facility, which opened in 2012. That all changed when Mar ... Read More

Steakholders restaurant closes doors

Newnan restaurant Steakholders has closed, and its owners say they are thankful for the opportunity they had to serve the community. “ ... Read More