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Local landmark, The Haines Shoe House, has opened for the season. Wochit

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The co-owner of a historical York County landmark died unexpectedly Thursday, Feb. 28, according to a statement on the attraction's Facebook page. 

Since 2015, Melanie Schmuck has co-owned and operated The Haines Shoe House, a shoe-shaped tourist attraction in Hellam Township. Schmuck succumbed to "health complications," the post said. 

The structure dates back to 1948, when Mahlon Haines, the  "Shoe Wizard," built it   near Route 30 to advertise his shoe stores.

"This is the best job I've ever had. I just love meeting all the cool people from around the world," Schmuck told The York Dispatch in 2016.

“It’s just too cool. We had people from 30 different countries and 48 of the states come last year. If we had two families coming from Qatar, then we’re doing something right. Our customers are the ones that keep this alive for us," she said. 

The historical landmark  offers guided tours and locally made ice cream. It opens at the end of each March and remains open through October. 

Schmuck was loved back from the job she left behind. In a Facebook post, the shoe house stated the owner was "so very special to so many." 

"A beauty inside and out that was loved by all. Melanie Schmuck glowed with life and energy," the post continues. 

Schmuck leaves behind her husband, Jeff, and twin sister, Mary, according to the Facebook post. 

More: Haines Shoe House opens for season

In a separate post, Jeff Schmuck said his wife was his rock, soul mate, teammate, best friend and love of his life. 

"She is the only person that can make me smile and cry at the same time just glancing at her picture. I will always love you for ever and ever," he said. 

A celebration of Schmuck's life will be held Saturday, March 9, at Mount. Pisgah Trinity United Methodist Church, 5615 Mount Pisgah Road. A casual visitation with family will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with a service to follow. All are welcome, according to the Facebook post. 

— Rebecca Klar can be reached at rklar@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter @RebeccaKlar_.

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