Iverne Kuryla’s had the time of her life at Iverne’s, in downtown International Falls.

She’s closing the store Wednesday, after owning it for 32 years, and working there for 37 years. She spent five years working under the ownership of Linda Shannon, in Shannon’s Square, before purchasing it.

“It’s been my life,” she said of the store. “I loved it. I made so many friends there over the years.”

She said she saddened to end the business now, but believes it’s necessary based on a few changes that have come her way.

“Life isn’t often what you expect,” she said. “Plans often change whether you want them to or not.

“I never planned to retire,” she said, adding that many people have come into the store to wish here well since she’s announced the closing she didn’t want to happen.

“It’s hard, and I am glad people realize that,” she said. “I’ve been there so much of my life — working there and going to market.”

Over the years, she said many businesses have come and gone from the Shannon’s Square site, adding to the friends made through the business. The businesses within Shannon’s Square benefited one another, she said, because when customers came into one business, they often discovered and then frequented the others.

Customers became loyal customers and then friends, often coming in just to visit even when they didn’t need to shop.

“It will be hard not to see them,” she said adding she may gather with a few friends at her home later this summer, “regardless of the darn virus” that encourages her to practice social distancing.

Kuryla said she appreciates the support she’s received from her family, friends, customers and community now and over the past years.

“I’ve had the time of my life,” she said. “It’s so nice to have everyone care.”

Iverne’s shop wasn’t the first store at the site to carry clothing and accessories.

The Koochiching County Historical Society’s walking tour identifies Shannon Square, 309 Third St., as the former site of the J.C. Penney department store.

“A fire ravished J.C Penney and the offices and apartments above it in 1966, thankfully no one was killed. Wolf Hardware and Don Franklin’s store also occupied this lot,” KCHS’s tour said.

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