PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — When trying to establish a career early on in life, there is one thing Ed Monroe knew he didn’t want to do.

“I didn’t want to be my father, a welder because his hands were dirty all the time,” Monroe said.

Instead, his role model was a local pharmacist.

“He was 81 years old, like me now. He was the center of information. Everybody came to him for information and he never got his hands dirty,” Monroe said with a chuckle.

He said the local pharmacist gave him inspiration for his profession of helping people.

In 1973 Monroe opened Family Medical. For five decades this past June, the family-owned business has been providing services and equipment that will help you or a loved one navigate a change in health so that you can continue to sleep, move, and feel better.

“It’s been a blessing to call them [customers] family,” Monroe said.

As the youngest of four and the only boy, Monroe’s son Chris purchased Family Medical in 2001. Since then he has been the president and CEO.

“The story he told about his mentor who taught him how to care for people, that’s exactly why I bought it,” Chris Monroe said. “We have an amazing staff, they do everything to take care of people so I wanted to continue that, continue his [Ed] legacy of taking care of the community.”

The business has gone through many changes in the past five decades, but one thing remains the same – making customers feel like family.

“We changed our name from Medicare Equipment and Supply to Family Medical because we wanted to treat people like we would our own family and to my understanding that continues today,” Ed said.

Family Medical is located at 3641 North Meadowbrook Road in Peoria.