GRANBURY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – For the first time in 40 years, a Granbury skating rink will open Friday without the man who put it there.

The owner of the town’s skating rink died suddenly in an accident this week. Condolences are coming in from across the country to remember Buddy Wisdom.

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Buddy Wisdom

People set up a memorial at the doors of the skating rink and have been adding to it throughout Friday. People who went to the rink as kids are even bringing their own kids to remember the beloved owner.

The family said it will open the doors Friday to continue the legacy Wisdom started.

The 86-year-old opened the rink with his wife four decades ago. His family said he practically lived at the rink to keep the place going.

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On Wednesday afternoon, Wisdom was walking across a busy road near his home when he was struck by a car. He died early Thursday morning at a Fort Worth hospital.

His family said he hadn’t been around the rink as much in the last year due to his age. After news of the death, the family has been flooded with calls and messages of condolences from all over the town and out of state.

It opened the family’s eyes to just how many people were impacted by Wisdom over the years.

“This little girl called from Colorado yesterday, and she said, ‘Let me know when the service is going to be cause I’m coming in.’ She used to come skating all the time when she was real young. She said, ‘Yeah, he was a great influence in my life… he was just a great guy,'” said Wisdom’s wife, Doris.

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Doris said she and her husband met at a skating rink in Fort Worth, and she never guessed she would end up running one with him later in life.