A Sad Day for the Automotive Industry
The automotive repair industry lost a dear friend recently. On June 3, 2020 Don Seyfer passed away in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. He had fought cancer for several years and that hated Big C finally won. I could write about everything Don did for our industry over the years: his time serving in ASA, in training, in ASE leadership, and so much more. There are few that have made similar contributions to the automotive industry. However, what I would like to tell you about was the kind of man Don Seyfer was. Please note that I wasn’t one of Don’s best friends. They could probably tell stories about Don for hours. No, the Don Seyfer I knew was one of those people that made you feel like you were best friends or family, even if you had just met. I think back to an Annual Convention at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. I think Don was the ASA National chairman at the time. A small group of us decided we needed to test the mettle of our chairman, and somehow, we came up with a key to his room, so the obvious thing to do was to short-sheet the bed! When I saw him the next day, he pulled me aside and told me he had heard that I was involved in the short-sheeting. Not knowing Don well, I was nervous until he ended the conversation with “And be assured, I’ll get you back”. Yes, Don had a sense of humor too.
Don was a leader. I respected him for his ability to make positive things happen. There was no political backstabbing and no “better-than-you” attitude when I dealt with Don Seyfer. When he told me he would do something, I just counted on it getting done. And as I watched from the sideline, the actions of this great man made me start wondering if I could do anything for our industry.
My wife and I are big NHRA Drag Racing fans. We used to travel to 8-10 national races a year. One year at the July Denver race we decided to drop in on Don and get a tour of his shop. Remember, we barely knew each other at the time. When we showed up, Don not only remembered who I was, but he made us feel so welcome that I’ll never forget the trip. You know how you feel when someone just drops in at the shop? My wife commented that she could not believe how gracious Don was to stop what he was doing and give us a personal guided tour of his facility.
Kinship, leadership, respect, dignity, graciousness: These qualities outline the biography of Don Seyfer. We lost one of the best in the automotive industry with his passing, however there is a bright side. Guess whose wife and children are also major leaders in our industry? That’s right, Don’s wife Margie was one of the earliest trainers that our ASA KC chapter (now MWACA) brought to Kansas City. I specifically remember it was a telephone skills class and was extremely well received. Margie, too, has given and given to our industry throughout the years. Don’s son Troy is carrying on the family tradition by taking over the management of the shop in Wheat Ridge. Don’s son Donny has jumped into leadership roles that I can’t begin to enumerate. He has chaired organizations, taught classes, worked within countless committees, become a link to the OEM manufacturers, and much more. Yes, Don Seyfer has left his mark here with his accomplishments and with his family members carrying on his fine tradition.
Thank you, Don Seyfer, for all you did and all you were. You will be missed.
There will be a car parade honoring Don Seyfer on Wednesday, June 10 at 9:30 a.m. leaving Seyfer Automotive/Specialties at 4501 Harlan St. in Wheat Ridge, Colo. Additional parking at Walmart across the street from the shop will be provided for those attending.