LIMA — When Joe Bunn first started at Accubuilt, he never dreamed walking in he would be there 50 years later.
On Wednesday, Bunn celebrated his 50th year with the company. A lot has changed since that first day, including the company name, its location and the products made through the years.
What hasn’t changed is Bunn’s enthusiasm for the job and his desire to keep working.
“I don’t really have a hobby,” he said. “My wife tells me if I’m going to retire, you’re going to have to do something. I may as well stay here doing something I like.”
Bunn is the manager of sales administrative for Accubuilt and has worked in that department his whole career. He started the job the day after he graduated from Northwest School of Commerce, after having interviewed before graduation.
He had hoped for a few days off after graduating but it never worked out that way.
“My ambitions at the time were to maybe become a CPA. I got into the hearses and limousines and loved it. That’s why I stay, I still love it,” he said.
Through the years, a lot has changed from the shape and types of hearses and limousines built to the product line. Bunn has watched his company build school buses until 1980, ambulances, handicap vans and other specialty vehicles.
He’s also gotten to know a lot of people and their families in the industry.
“I know all the dealers and their kids. I’m working with their kids right now,” he said.
Accubuilt, which was Superior Coach and located on Kibby Street when Bunn first started, before it moved twice including in 1996 to its current location off Hanthorn Road, has been good to Bunn.
He’s raised his family with a son and daughter now in their 40s and been able to provide for himself and his wife of 46 years, Carol.
Bunn credits his success to his love of working with people and always being honest.
“I always tell them the truth. If a car’s not going to be done for two weeks, I tell them that,” he said.
Today, Accubuilt concentrates on hearses and limousines for the funeral industry, rather than handling other limousine orders such as those used for weddings. They don’t make as many hearses as they used to since the cremation business has slowed the demand but it’s still their bread and butter.
At 70, Bunn said he will keep working as long as his health remains well.
“And as long as they will keep me around,” he said.