Irving’s Toy & Card Shop Owner Ethel Weiss Has Passed Away

At 101, she was a Coolidge Corner fixture.

Ethel Weiss, the 101-year-old owner of Irving’s Toy and Card Shop in Brookline, died on Thursday after 76 years of delighting children at the Coolidge Corner store she founded and continued to work at nearly every day. reported earlier this year that her secret to longevity is a philosophy she wrote down in 1994. “Keep pleasantly about your work and do the best job that you can,” “Show appreciation,” “Treat other people as you would like them to treat you,” and “Enjoy being yourself” are some of the tips she transcribed onto a poster she sold at and displayed in her shop.

She opened Irving’s in 1939 with her first husband, Irving Kravetz, next door to the Edward Devotion School. Generations of families have shopped for school supplies and candy from Weiss. This fall, she told CBS News she had no intention of ever retiring. “It’s a wonderful place to be, and you can see people all the time and you can wave to them—say ‘hi,'” she said.

Positive memories of visiting Irving’s and Weiss have filled the store’s Yelp page for years. “I don’t live in Massachusetts any more, but one of the happiest moments of my first trip back a few years ago was my trip to Irving’s,” one visitor wrote in 2012. “It is a time machine back into the 50s and 60s … And Ethel (Mrs. Irving’s) even sort of remembered me and my sisters after 40 years.”

Weiss is survived by 12 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and a huge network of families she touched in Brookline and beyond.

Irving’s Toy and Card Shop, 371 Harvard St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline; 617-566-9327.