It was World War II and the U.S. Navy that brought Walter Haller and his bride-to-be Lenna Belle Flannery from Southern Indiana to the West Coast. Married in Seattle, they were assigned to the Naval Air Station in Alameda. Following the war, with Belle's encouragement, Walt attended the University of California Medical School of Pharmacy. Because Lenna Belle had worked in drug stores while in Indiana and throughout the war, she continued at Miller's Drug Store in Alameda while Walt was in school. Following Walt's graduation, the two sold their home in Alameda to finance the purchase of a small Rexall pharmacy in Newark. The success of that business led to an invitation from Dr. Guy Romito for the Hallers to open a pharmacy in his medical building, then under construction at the corner of Central Avenue and Fremont Boulevard in Fremont's Centreville District. The store opened in March 18, 1957, with a Grand Opening Sale April 25 and 26.
From the very beginning, Walt and Belle's focus was on providing a professional pharmacy dedicated to the needs of the community. Walt kept his business open all days of the year, even Christmas, because, as he frequently would say, "Sick people don't have holidays." On receiving calls from doctors, he also opened his store at all hours of the night to fill prescriptions. And, his became the first store in the area to offer products such as crutches, wheelchairs, hospital beds, and the like.
Walt grew the business to as many as four store locations in Fremont/Newark during one period, but it was always a family business operated by Walt and Belle and staffed, at various times, by daughters Mary and Jeanne and others who became part of the Haller's Pharmacy Family. Following close to 20 years of 14-hour days, 7 days a week, Walt sold the business in 1975, but the legacy of service and uniqueness of Haller's Pharmacy as an independent, professional pharmacy continues to this day.
In the 1990s, Walt and Belle and daughter Mary moved to Oakdale, California. Daughter Jeanne lives with her husband in Morgan Hill.