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Flip Side Record Parlor Owner Clarisa Peña Has Died, Creating Questions About Longtime Music Store's Future 

  • Facebook / Clarisa Pena
Clarisa Peña, the owner of Flip Side Record Parlor, died Monday, leaving questions about the fate of the 46-year-old South Side independent music and memorabilia store.

The mother of two had been battling colon cancer, and the disease metastasized to her liver, lungs and brain.

Peña's daughter, Jessica Erevia, hasn't decided whether to keep the store in operation, mentioning that her mother had to work multiple jobs to keep it open. The shop was no longer self-sustaining.

"And that's why I'm at this crossroads or this decision-making point," Erevia said. "To figure out what we're going to do about it as a family."

Erevia said she would never do anything to upset her mother. But she was never able to have a conversation about the fate of the business before Peña's death.

"[We] never got to have those final talks about what would happen if she passed, because in her mind she was not going to die," Erevia added. "Even when it got really bad, she would not let us talk about death."

Peña, who started as a Flip Side store employee, took it over after original owner Doug Leasein’s death in 2011. The outlet survived the digital music explosion that wiped out many record stores, including deep-pocketed chains.

But a love for music and community kept the doors open.

"She really did love all good music," Erevia said of Peña.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, Adele, Beyonce and the Deftones were among her mother's favorite artists.

"My mom is just a light in a lot of people's lives," Erevia said. "And people were very touched by her. She has so many friends and so many people that would go to her for advice, and she was such a great listener. And that's why Flip Side became a haven for a lot of people."

Visitation for Peña will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, January 19, with a celebration of life service at 6:30 p.m. at Mission Park Funeral Chapel South, 1700 SE Military Dr. A rosary will follow at 7:30 p.m. Funeral mass will be celebrated Monday, January 20, at 10 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, 236 E. Petaluma Blvd.

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