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Pender’s owner Harold Gore dies at age 82

Profile image for By John D. Harden / Staff Writer
By John D. Harden / Staff Writer

One of Harold Gore’s favorite stories to tell was the one about how he came to own Pender’s Music Co., his grandsons say. Gore, 82, died on Saturday from heart complications, but his family said he lived a full, rich life.

Pender’s sells print music and related music products at its locations in Denton County and Oklahoma. Gore purchased the company in 1967 from the previous owner, whom Gore’s grandsons knew as Pop Pender.

Steven Gore, the oldest grandson, said Pender offered to sell the business to his grandfather, and his grandfather bought it that day.

“He didn’t even tell my grandmother,” he said, sharing a laugh with his cousin David Gore, Harold Gore’s youngest grandson.

According to family members, the purchase of Pender’s changed Gore’s life forever, and he grew the company into a very successful sheet music business. Steven and David Gore said their grandfather was a hard worker, which helped turn the company profitable.

In 1989, Pender’s moved to a 11,000-square-foot building, which it still occupies, at 314 S. Elm St. The additional space still allows for more expansion as Pender’s continues to grow, according to the company’s website.

The company now has locations in Denton, Oklahoma City and Carrollton.

“He was really inspiring in that way,” Steven Gore said. “He was a super hard worker and he had a lot of spirit.”

Harold Gore’s grandsons agreed that their grandfather’s sense of humor and willing spirit were some of his most enduring qualities.

“He joked all the way until the end — even after his heart stopped — twice,” Steven Gore said. “We joked that he wasn’t finished telling jokes and that they were kicking him back to tell some more.”

His grandsons said Gore’s family meant the world to him. Almost every member of the family has worked for the company at some point, Steven Gore said.

“He loved all of us, and boy, did he love our grandmother,” said Steven Gore, who told a story about how his grandfather fell in love with his wife Betty’s thick Southern accent from Mississippi. “He always said, ‘I know she loves me, so I know I never have to worry about her running off.’”

With his long history in music, Harold Gore developed deep roots in the city and nearby communities. He was well known among musicians, choirs and schools, his family said.

Even a week before his death, he was working on arranging a music for a march, Steven Gore said.

“He knew what he loved to do, and that’s what he died doing,” he said.

Harold Gore’s survivors include his wife, Betty; two sons and two daughters; 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church of Denton.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.