A West Akron jewelry store with a long history is going out of business.

Lisa Ball Ponder, the fourth-generation owner of Henry B. Ball West, announced on Facebook and via email on Sunday that the store was closing.

The store opened in 1976, but has historical ties to a store that first opened 102 years ago.

Ponder returned to Akron two years ago from Florida to take over the store from her then 91-year old grandmother. Mary Gorman had retired after nearly 70 years as a jeweler and running the family business as a single mother of six.

The store was doing well, Ponder said in an interview Monday, but a recent loss in the family and family health problems are pulling her and her husband to want to return to Florida.

“The store has actually been great for the last two years. It’s been a real blessing to get to know my family up here. The community has been so welcoming,” Ponder said. “We’ve just had a lot of things happen to us in the last 12 months that we can’t ignore. It’s just pulling us back to Florida, where both of our parents are and the family is.”

Ponder said there weren’t any other family members who were able to take over the business from her.

“We tried,” she said.

Ponder hadn’t thought of returning to Akron to buy the business until she had heard an offhand remark about the business being on its last legs during a Christmas dinner the year before.

“It just triggered this inside of me to take on this honor,” Ponder said at the time of her grand opening in 2015. She gutted and renovated the store on West Market Street in Pilgrim Square, with the blessing and guidance of her “Nana” and other family members.

Gorman’s late first husband, Walter “Skip” Henry Ball, was the son of Henry B. Ball, who opened his first store in 1915 in downtown Akron. The couple joined the business in 1948 and Gorman took over the business after her husband died in 1971. In 1976, she opened Henry B. Ball West.

In 1983, the downtown store closed and was moved to Canton by Gorman’s son, Robert Ball. The Henry B. Ball Jewelers in Canton is a separate company and remains open.

At the West Market store, Ponder overhauled the inventory, keeping the fine jewelry and custom-made bridal sets, but also trying to appeal to a younger generation with spa products and other gifts.

Ponder said she has her Nana’s blessing to close the store and do what she needs to for her family.

“It breaks my heart to see the store close,” she said. “But our family traditions and legacy will be continued through our Canton store. My uncle is sole captain of the ship carrying it forward.”

Henry B. Ball Jewelers is located 5254 Dressler RD NW is in Jackson Township.

The Henry B. Ball West store is closed to prepare for a four-day going out of business sale. Hours are noon to 7 p.m Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The store then will remain open through Christmas to sell off its remaining inventory and fixtures.

Ponder said she and her husband plan to move back to Florida in the spring. She doesn’t know what business will take over her spot, but “there’s been a lot of buzz about who is coming in next.”

Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or blinfisher@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ and see all her stories at www.ohio.com/betty