In 31 years, Uniforms by Geri became more of a meeting hub than an outfit store for family, friends, customers and employees of owner Geri Youngheim.
That those groups often overlapped was testament to Youngheim's approach to business and life, said people who remembered her this week.
Mrs. Youngheim, 72, died March 4 in Modesto.
"It was very important to her not to just sell the uniform," said son Joel Youngheim. "You'd see doctors and nurses who hadn't seen each other in years meet up at her store.
"Whatever was positive, she shared with everyone at the store."
Mrs. Youngheim owned and operated Uniforms by Geri in Modesto from 1975 until closing the store in summer 2006.
During that time, Joel Youngheim said, she sold uniforms to doctors, nurses, hotel workers, restaurant staff and others.
She also made her mark with such touches as making sure there was a cake for every employee's birthday, and telling customers how to not only wear the uniform, but what to wear with it and how to wash it, recalled daughter Marlene Gonsalves.
Jim Boren, who worked at the store on and off for 15 years, said Mrs. Youngheim connected with people and stayed loyal to them.
"Her friends were her friends, and people she cared about, she cared about," he said.
Mrs. Youngheim also was involved in activities outside business. She outfitted the first staff at the Holiday Inn at Modesto and sponsored a nursing scholarship at Modesto Junior College.
Joel Youngheim said his mother was involved in The Salvation Army, Soroptimists, Miss Stanislaus Pageant, Memorial Hospital Foundation board and the American Cancer Society.
During her last days, her son said, Mrs. Youngheim told him not to change plans for his 50th birthday, which was a fund-raiser for Community Hospice and the American Cancer Society, two causes she supported.
"She liked to be involved in as many things as she could," her son said.
Mrs. Youngheim was born July 6, 1935, in New York City. She later lived in Milwaukee and moved to Modesto in 1961.
Along with her son and daughter, Mrs. Youngheim is survived by her sister, Florence Licht, and four grandchildren.
Funeral services were at Congregation Beth Shalom on March 6, after which she was buried at Lakewood Memorial Park in Hughson.
Bee staff writer Ben van der Meer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2331.