Bud Jones, who built family muffler business in Denver, dies at 88
By Virginia Culver
The Denver Post
Posted: 01/25/2010 01:00:00 AM MST
Updated: 01/25/2010 01:02:37 AM MST
Bud Jones has served generations with his muffler shop.
When Bud Jones came to Denver in 1955, he looked in a telephone directory and found no muffler shops.
So he opened one. Bud's Muffler Service is still operating, and three generations of the family have worked there. Three generations of some families have done business with Bud's.
Bud Jones died at his Lakewood home Dec. 23. He was just short of his 89th birthday.
"He was very particular," with his work, said his granddaughter, Julie Close of Littleton, who is office manager at the shop.
"Every job has to be as if we were doing it for a member of the family," she said. "And Grandpa checked every vehicle before it left the shop."
The shop employed 15 people at one time but now has six, due to the economic slump, Close said.
"Cars are more challenging today," said Bud Jones' son, Bill Jones, who runs the business. "People want better performing mufflers, exhaust and tail pipes because that can allow the motor to work better and they get better gas mileage."
William H. Jones was born in North Platte, Neb., on Jan. 17, 1921.
When he was 14, Jones and a friend, with $10 between them, hitchhiked from Nebraska to California, sleeping in hay barns and getting odd jobs in exchange for food.
"It was the 1930s, and there was no future in Nebraska," Bill Jones said.
Bud Jones married Alma Stephens on June 22, 1940.
"He was working in a garlic factory in Salinas (Calif.) at the time," Alma Jones said.
He later drove trucks and taxis and then got a job at a gas station. There was a muffler shop across the street, where he liked to hang out. He got a job there and, in 1955, decided to try for a business in Denver, she said.
The first shop was at 742 W. Colfax Ave., the second and larger at West 11th Avenue and Speer Boulevard and finally an even larger shop at 1010 Santa Fe Drive, where Bud's has been since the mid-1970s.
As business expanded beyond cars, more and bigger space was needed to work on buses, trucks, motor homes and heavy equipment, Bill Jones said.
Bud Jones always adapted, often saying, "You bring it in — we'll fix it."
When he wasn't working, Bud Jones was on his snowmobile in the winter and on his cabin cruiser in the summer, always with family members.
In later years, when he was no longer able to operate the boat, "he'd just sit on it. He really loved it," Close said.
In addition to his wife, son and granddaughter, Jones is survived by three other grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and his brother, Melvin Jones of Olympia, Wash. He was preceded in death by a son, Bob Jones.
Virginia Culver: 303-954-1223 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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