Don Seyfer kept Wheat Ridge running

Longtime business leader passed away

Glenn Wallace
gwallace@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/9/20

Don Seyfer took pride in his community. He founded Seyfer Automotive in 1961, and build the business up, first in Mountain View and later in Wheat Ridge, into an institution of quality and …

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Don Seyfer kept Wheat Ridge running

Longtime business leader passed away

Posted

Don Seyfer took pride in his community.

He founded Seyfer Automotive in 1961, and build the business up, first in Mountain View and later in Wheat Ridge, into an institution of quality and reliability. He volunteered his time, from neighborhood efforts, up to national trade associations. He instilled and inspired those around him to give back to the community, too, whether it be his own family or in those who worked with him.

Now, it is time for the community to remember and take pride in Donald C. Seyfer, who died at the age of 79 on June 3, 2020, after years of battling cancer.

Margie Seyfer laughs softly when asked about what she'll remember about her late husband.

"This guy loved his work, loved cars, and loved me," she says.

That love of cars started early for Don, who joined the Sabers of Denver car club at just 19 years old, according to his son Donnie Seyfer.

Don's favorite car, his son says, was a 1941 Lincoln Continental.

"He was still going to Thursday night meetings until he just couldn't, just a few weeks ago," Donnie Seyfer said.

The hobby turned into a career, turned into a business which was run with such care and attention to detail that both Don and Margie Seyfer became nationally recognized automotive business experts.

Don would go on to chair of the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, which accredits all automotive programs in the U.S. post-secondary and secondary schools and serve on board of National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

The business has been recognized locally as well, being named the 2017 Business of the Year by the West Metro Chamber.

"He was just really dedicated to his customers," Donnie Seyfer said.

The family business has always included a close-knit band of long-time employees, according to Donnie Seyfer, with many joining the company when young, and staying with the Seyfers for many years.

"I'll really remember him as a responsible member of the community, in the best sense of the word," said Wheat Ridge mayor, and longtime friend, Bud Starker, who also served alongside him as part of the Wheat Ridge Business Association. "He would always work on a problem, and bring others in to work on it too. And he would really know the community and how to make it better."

Starker said one recent example was when Wheat Ridge was brainstorming ways of commemorating the city's 50th anniversary, when the topic of the police department's old, rusty first patrol car came up. Starker said Don immediately offered to sponsor the project to get the old car restored to its former glory, and ended up getting much of the restoration work done in his own shop.

"He really does leave a great legacy for the community, Starker said.

Don served as chair of the Wheat Ridge Business Association, as well as chair of WR2020 — now renamed Wheat Ridge Localworks — and also volunteered his time and resources into the activities of the local United Methodist Church and Wheat Ridge High School.

"it's really been a really close knit community," Donnie Seyfer said. He added that community involvement just seems to be in his family DNA, going back to at least Don and Margie's parents, who were also active in their neighborhoods.

Don is survived by Margie; son Donny Seyfer, who is the executive officer of the National Automotive Service Task Force and supporter of local STEM education as a board member of the Foundation for Advanced Stem Education; and son Troy Seyfer, who has taken over operations of Seyfer Automotive as well as his own business, Seyfer Specialty.

The Seyfers also had six grandchildren, four of whom still reside in Wheat Ridge, said Margie.

"And he just delighted in those kids."

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