Longtime Crown Point business owner Larry Rubarts believed in honesty, hard work and treating his customers fairly, said his wife, Nancy Rubarts.
Rubarts, 65, of Crown Point, owned L&N Furniture for 37 years. A member of the Cedar Lake American Legion, he served in the Army during the Vietnam War as a cook at Fort Ord, Calif. Afterward, Rubarts worked at several jobs, including at Conquest Ready Mix.
Nancy Rubarts said her husband became interested in refinishing furniture while watching her. They looked into starting a business, deciding on a franchise company in Kokomo. When the company folded, Rubarts worked out of his garage as a side job. Rubarts quit his job, moving the business to a storefront on Sherman Street. In 1981, the Rubarts purchased Schmal’s Dairy on North Main Street, remodeling it and building a rental in back.
“He stood behind his work, made his business grow and took great care of his customers,” Nancy Rubarts said. “People from all over came here because of his reputation.”
Married 44 years, the high school sweethearts met as sophomores at Lowell High School. A people person, Rubarts liked having a good time and was willing to help others whenever he could.
When their two sons were young, they enjoyed snowmobiling in Wisconsin and Michigan.
“That was family time,” Nancy Rubarts said. “There were no separate vacations. He wanted it that way. He wanted those memories.”
Later, the couple bought Harleys for their summer vacations, traveling everywhere from New Brunswick to Utah, meeting many people and seeing new sights. They enjoyed their boat, taking Nancy’s dad fishing in northern Wisconsin.
Seeing his sons, grandson and daughter-in-law regularly was important to Rubarts. He loved watching their grandson play baseball and football, she said.
A member of the Crown Point Moose Lodge, Rubarts was a huge NASCAR fan.