Mourners will gather Sunday at First Parish Congregational Church in Saco to pay tribute to Margaret “Peggy” Tyrell, a longtime owner of the iconic Way Way Store in Saco, who died on Tuesday. She was 95.

Mrs. Tyrell began working at the popular landmark when she was 14 years-old. She worked there with her niece, Catherine Cousens, until 2003 when they had to close the store. At the time, she was 85 years-old and Cousens was 72.

Mrs. Tyrell dedicated nearly her whole her life to the store, which sold candy, drinks, gasoline other household staples. It was known for its large a variety of penny candy like Sour Gummies, Mary Janes and Tootsie Rolls. She spent years watching generations of kids smile as they stepped on the wooden crate to pick out their favorite pieces of candy.

“Peggy and her niece had lightning-fast math skills,” said Peter Scontras, who re-opened the store in 2011. “They had tremendous patience while they were waiting on children to make their candy selections. It was a labor of love for them. They enjoyed seeing the kids grow up and come back year after year. They knew everyone by name. They were really down-to-earth, salt-of-the-earth people.”

The store was built in the 1920s. Located on Buxton Road, the store is named “Way Way,” because of its remote location on the outskirts of Saco. Though, most people would agree it is worth the trip.

Mrs. Tyrell visited the store in 2011 after it re-opened. She used a walker to walk inside. Scontras said she was emotional after seeing the store for the first time in eight years.

He asked if she could walk behind the candy counter as she had done for so many years. Scontras got his picture taken with her.

“It’s one of the most treasured pictures I have of the store,” Scontras said. “She smiled. She was her old self. It was amazing. It was quite emotional.”

Mrs. Tyrell was remembered by her family Thursday as a kind, warm and generous woman, who was well-liked in the Saco community.

“She embraced everyone with a smile,” said her niece, Suzanne Cousens. “You never saw her upset or mad. She was always grateful when someone did something for her.”

She was married to Harin Tyrell, who died in 1987. The couple didn’t have children. She enjoyed reading, sewing, knitting and gardening. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family. Cousens said they spent every holiday together.

Mrs. Tyrell, a lifelong Saco resident, was recently living at Southridge Living Center in Biddeford.

For Sunday’s funeral service, there will be flowers with penny candy resting on Mrs. Tyrell’s casket.

Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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