Rains Department Store owner, Alan Rains, passes away at 90

web 12 24 21 RAINS Award

Photo by Stephen Adams

Alan Rains accepts his Ojai Historic Preservation Lifetime Achievement Award at Ojai City Hall on Dec. 14.


Grant Phillips, Ojai Valley News reporter

Alan Rains, 90, who owned and operated Rains Department Store for more than 50 years, passed away peacefully on Dec. 23, according to family members. 

On Dec. 14, Rains attended the Ojai City Council meeting to accept the Ojai Historic Preservation Lifetime Achievement Award.

At the ceremony, it was recounted how, in 1914, Rains’ grandfather purchased a small hardware store built in 1874.

Rains, who moved to Ojai when he was 10, recently recalled, “It was a wonderful old store with wooden sidewalks out front.”

In 1917, he said, when a fire raged throughout the Ojai Valley, his grandfather put a note on the store urging people to take what they needed to put out the flames. “He never lost a dime,” Rains said. “They all settled up.”

After college, Rains came home to run the family business, Rains Department Store, which he first took over in 1969 and managed for decades through all economic upturns and downturns, without losing the character and quality that anchor the largest business in the Arcade.

Rains also served as chair of the Ojai Valley Community Stadium at Nordhoff High School when it was first built. He was elected city treasurer in 2016, winning re-election in 2020. 

“We do have, as you all recognize, something special here in Ojai. Hopefully, we can try and preserve our part of it,” said Rains during his acceptance speech. “We know that we can't save the world, but we want to try and save Ojai and the culture of Ojai." 





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