Edward Bogosian, 82, longtime owner of the Camera Shop of Bryn Mawr, died Saturday, May 11, of bone cancer at his home in Villanova.
The Camera Shop was established by Sarkis Bogosian, Mr. Bogosian's father, in 1920, making it among the state's oldest family-run camera stores, his family said.
The onset of the Internet, the change to digital photography, the prevalence of big-box stores carrying photo equipment, and poor economic conditions combined to defeat many of the store's competitors.
A fixture at 572 Lancaster Ave. on the Main Line since 1978, the store didn't start out there.
Its original location was 52d and Chestnut Streets in West Philadelphia. The Bogosians closed that store in 1973. Three years earlier, the family had opened a shop in Glenolden; that store closed in the mid-1980s, said Michelle Bogosian, Mr. Bogosian's daughter.
After 1978, Mr. Bogosian concentrated on the Bryn Mawr store, making it family-friendly and stocking it with a wide range of merchandise not always available elsewhere.
"He wanted to have a superstore, a specialty store," said his daughter. "It was all about customer service."
When the industry adopted digital photography, the Bogosians embraced the change and invested in it, staying ahead of the curve, his daughter said.
"We pushed the limits. That allowed us to be at the forefront," she said.
Realizing that in the past the father had been the chief photographer in many families, Mr. Bogosian tried to appeal to the aspiring picture-taker in women and children.
"Now we have multigenerational families that are our clients," his daughter said. "We've adapted."
Mr. Bogosian was born in Philadelphia and graduated from John Bartram High School.
After high school, he moved to California and worked for Paramount Studios as an usher, trying to break into the film industry. Sensing the draft coming for him, he returned east and enlisted in the Navy, serving for four years.
Mr. Bogosian graduated from Temple University in the late 1950s with degrees in marketing and statistics.
He worked for the men's clothier Botany 500, coffee company Rudd Miliken, and Villanova University before buying the family business from his father; he wanted to be his own boss, his daughter said.
Mr. Bogosian nurtured the business. When he stepped down in 1997, he remained chairman but passed the reins of the corporation to his daughter and to his wife, Kathy.
Mr. Bogosian was active in civic work. He was president of the Havertown Rotary Club, and a Gundaker and Paul Harris Fellow within the club.
He was president of the Bryn Mawr Business Association, on the board of the Main Line Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of the Radnor-Haverford-Marple Sewer Authority.
Surviving, in addition to his wife and daughter, is a granddaughter, Emma Heckmann, 8, who is adept with a camera and has play dates at the shop.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, 625 Montgomery Ave., Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010. Burial is private. Donations may be made to the church's general fund.