For more than 53 years, the Reedy family has been selling Ford automobiles in Arkansas City, but owners Dick and Judy Reedy are ready to retire.
The couple has agreed to sell the dealership at 3319 N. Summit St., to Zeller Motors just up the street.
That sale will become effective on Nov. 2. Dick Reedy said Wednesday that he has been contemplating retirement for some time. He became serious about it almost a year ago.
“I think it’s about time,” he said. “I’m not sure I deserve it, but I look forward to it.”
He said his wife, Judy, is also excited. Retirement will give them more time to spend with their children and grandchildren. They have one grandchild in Pittsburg and another in Collinsville, Okla.
“It’s hard to get Grandma very far from them,” he said with a laugh “We either go north on (U.S.) 75 or south on 75.”
Dick said that his father, Bill Reedy, started the business in 1967, and it has been in the family ever since. He joined the company two years after it started, when his father offered him a position.
“He talked me into coming down and going to work in the parts room,” Reedy said. “I’d always wanted to work for my dad, so I jumped at it.”
Dick said his father had been involved in several other businesses before moving to Arkansas City to open a Ford dealership.
The business has always been a Ford dealership, Dick said, but the vehicles have changed a lot over the years, becoming much more complex to work on.
“It takes more than wrenches to work on them now,” he said. “It takes computers.”
He won’t miss the daily stresses of running a business, but he and Judy will miss the customers they have built relationships with. They have made a lot of friends over the years who have been a blessing to them.
“That’s what I’m going to miss — dealing with people that we enjoy helping,” he said. “Many of our customers have actually become close friends.”
Dick said he has been with the business so long that some of those customers have passed away. They’ve also made a lot of new ones.
Selling a business and moving into retirement is not an easy process. Dick said that a lot of services have to be canceled and vendors have to be notified There are many loose ends to tie up after being in business for so long.
“I think of something different every day,” he said with a laugh.
Dick said he expects the change of ownership to go smoothly. For the most part, his employees are a little anxious, but don’t seem overly concerned about the ownership change.
“I don’t think they’re too rattled about it,” he said. “None of us really enjoy change, but we accept the fact that things do change.”
Zeller Motors General Manager Wit Goebal declined to comment Wednesday about the details of purchase or any future plans.