The Automotive Service Association and the automotive industry lost one of its biggest supporters on May 19th, 2013, Buz Throndsen. Buz owned and operated both Magnolia Shell Service Station and Throndsen Tire Service in the Magnolia area.
He was a member of IGO, ASC and ASE throughout his career. Buz was a powerful proponent of great customer service and this passion eventually led to a business where he taught new operators in the Shell Oil Company the value of genuine service.
Besides his wife and best friend of 62 years, Joann (Jo), Buz is survived by his sons, Thomas-wife (Donna) and Robert wife-(Kay), his grandchildren Joe, wife Ann) Amy- husband (Kit), Logan, Dalton, and Darby, and his great grandchildren, Isaac and Colby. Buz is also survived by many, many friends that he carefully mentored, and with whom he learned and laughed.
Retiring in 1978 at the age of 50, Buz and Jo moved to Kennewick to support their two grandchildren. There, Buz became involved in the Tri-Cities ASA chapter as an advisor to help bolster the chapter¹s membership, which he did. He did such a great job, in fact, that Pete Hunt asked him if he would consider helping the Spokane chapter improve. Buz was happy to help, and in 1989 began traveling to Spokane once a month to train and encourage the unit leaders. This is when all of us unit leaders learned that Buz had been an Army Drill sergeant in a past life! If you told Buz it was going to be done, it had better be done! That is to say, Buz had a loving, honest, and wonderfully direct way of expressing his dissatisfaction. And with Buz¹s passion, Spokane¹s membership did grow – did it ever grow!
Buz also began to serve as mentor for many businesses in Eastern Washington, helping an untold number of ASA members grow and improve their own businesses. Buz and Jo were contributing so much of their valuable time and resources to grow ASA in Eastern Washington that the ASA Board asked Buz to become the full time Eastern Washington Coordinator. Luckily for us, Buz accepted in July of 1991. During Buz and Jo¹s tenure, ASA membership in Eastern Washington continued to grow. With Pete and Cherie¹s support, Buzz and Jo facilitated an increase in membership in Lewiston-Clarkson, Wenatchee, Pullman, Yakima, and Moses Lake. Buz worked And strived to make Eastern Washington the second biggest unit in the state, benefiting members in countless ways.
Buz and Jo resigned their post in April of 2002. But we didn’t let them go that easy. Many of us still sought out their advice on a weekly basis, and they were ever willing to share and help us until the last day. For example, Buzz was always available for counsel to help with any pending decision that needed to be made, any struggle we may been faced with or to help cerebrate a victory with us. He was just always there willing to listen and guide.
Thanks to Jo for all the support and love she bestows and continues to give members of ASA. As we all move forward without Buz, keep in mind what Buz would tell us:
“Always remember to smile. It will make them wonder what you are up to.”
No service will be held, so to honor Buz, there is a Buz Throndsen Automotive Scholarship set up through the Spokane ASA Unit. If you would like to make a donation please send to:
Spokane ASA Unit
C/o John Hinkemeyer
1717 W. Francis, Suite #206
Spokane, WA 99205
If you would like to send your condolences to Jo Throndsen please mail to:
29603 South 2054 PR SE
Kennewick, WA 99336