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The Customer Experience - Memory Lane

Here is a couple of heart warming experiences that I have been privileged to experience from customers I got to know so well.

Years ago Murray Rutledge was a successful rural real estate salesman in Shakespeare Ontario. He and his wife dealt at our garage and had strong religious beliefs but handled that with gracious style.  Usually when leaving after getting their car serviced they would offer a short blessing to me and quite often to Brian Fisher our service manager who they liked very much.

Upon retirement they moved to Woodstock to be near family but still drove to Goderich for their vehicle purchase and any service work.

Well over thirty years ago Murray began phoning me on my birthday to sing happy birthday to me and has never missed since.

Eventually his wife passed away but he has lots of family support. However I got a call from him that his insurance company had cancelled his car insurance because of age and what should he do with his car, an older Caddy DeVille.  I told him I was coming to see him and even though I had left active involvement with the dealership, I purchased his car and had a great visit with him and family.  I recently returned for a visit as I knew it was his birthday and found out he was still keeping well.

True to the norm, this February  2nd, Murray phoned on my birthday to sing to me.

Murray is now in his 101st year and keeping well.


A man by the name of Doug. Jarvis from Palmerston was calling on the Bluewater Center delivering them goods for the Midwestern Regional Center.  Doug. Liked golf and a fancy car and was driving a 66 Olds. 98 at the time. He started coming to our dealership for service and eventually I sold him a new Buick Electra.  He and his wife Betty had no children. They would drive to Goderich for all their service work and would also buy a new car every two years but by this time it was for a new Cadillac Deville. Doug. was a charmer and a very handsome man and everybody at our garage liked him and Betty and they visited with everybody while waiting for their car to be serviced.

Time rolls on and Doug. loses his beloved Betty but he still kept himself in a new car.  Eventually he remarried to Marjorie, a librarian in Listowel and that town became Dougs new home for several years. Eventually Marjorie passed away so Doug. moved to Kincardine to be near family.  The garage would phone me when Doug. was in for some car service and I would drop over for a short visit or take him back to my shop on MacEwan Street which he enjoyed.  Now get this- he was the first person at our dealership to order a new Electric Cadillac Lyriq for his 98th  birthday which was soon coming up.

This model is slow coming but eventually the garage knew when it was to arrive and was planning a celebration around his purchase and to think that a man of that age was that foreward thinking to want to buy an Electric car was quite a thing in itself.

Doug. was made aware that his new car was now here and waiting for him. The day before he was to pick it up, his insurance company cancelled his car insurance.  Doug.  gave his brother his present Caddy CT6 but passed away shortly thereafter.

I and my nephew Martyn attended his funeral and were shocked by what we were about to be find out. Our dealership has for years gave our Cadillac customers a nice gift at Christmas time.

Several of these gifts were in his casket and were going to be buried with him. The front of his funeral card pictured one of these gifts which was a stand up display showing all the different Cadillac crests from over the years. Doug’s. picture was on the back of the card. Even the minister made mention of all of this in his sermon and where he went for his cars and service. We were bowled over to say the least.

I could tell you so many stories of connections with our many great customers over the years but it’s pretty hard to top these two.

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