STILLWATER, Minn. (WCCO) — It will be the last long holiday weekend for a Stillwater mechanic.
Soon, every workday will be more like a weekend. It’s a retirement story nearly seven decades in the making. For him, there’s nothing quite like solving this twisted puzzle of nuts and bolts.
“I overhauled the engine on my dad’s car when I was 15 years old,” Gus MacDonald said. “It’s a rewarding thing to bring something in that doesn’t work and you fix it.”
MacDonald been able to feel that sense of accomplishment as a service manager and mechanic at Stillwater Motors. For the last 68 years.
“My family says I should be hanging it up while I can still drive and walk,” he joked.
At the end of the month at the age of 87, he’ll call it a career.
“He’s known all four generations of the Raduenz family,” Laura Raduenz said.
MacDonald started working for the family at 19 in 1949. He grew up alongside the very first owner’s son. He’s watched car technology change dramatically over time. Just a few tools used to get most jobs done.
“If a car didn’t run right you could take a screw driver and shore out each cylinder and tell if something is wrong with it,” MacDonald said. “Nowadays, if something is wrong with it and you don’t have a computer you don’t know where to look.”
For the last few years, MacDonald’s stuck more to paperwork at the shop. His knowledge irreplaceable, but perhaps it’s his attitude that will be missed most.
Giving credit to the Golden Rule as the only one that’s kept him around this long.
“I don’t treat anyone any different than I want to be treated so very seldom do I complain to anybody,” MacDonald said.
So, it seems fitting Stillwater Motors marked his retirement with this brand new Equinox.
“He’s taken care of our customers and we want to make sure he’s taken care of as well,” Raduenz said.
A man who proves they don’t make ’em like they used to.
“Well, I’m going to miss it. I know that,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald plans to spend more time on his boat on the St. Croix with his wife of 50 years, his six kids and 13 grand kids. A river cruise is planned for June 10 to officially celebrate his retirement with customers and staff.