Saturday, August 14, 2004
Longtime Craig resident Charles "Ike" Eisenhauer, owner and operator of Ike and Son Transmission, passed away Aug. 6, 2004, at his home. He was 82.
Ike was born Nov. 26, 1921, to Maurice Eisenhauer and Mary Nogle of Kelly Cross Roads, Penn.
Before Ike thought of cars and snowmobiles, he thought of motorcycles. He bought his first motorcycle when he was 15. His love of racing drew him to hill climbs and flat track motorcycle racing. In 1951 Ike hill-climbed in Canada and won a championship that hadn't been won in 13 years. He owned more than 50 motorcycles during his lifetime.
Ike also enjoyed hunting -- it's what initially brought him to Northwest Colorado. He returned to the area when he was offered a job working on transmissions. The trip here posed many challenges for his family, but those obstacles didn't stop Ike.
He worked for Dunckan Chevrolet and Craig Sales. He then opened Ike's Transmission in 1960. A year later, Ike and Gordon Whisner rented the old Dunckan Chevrolet building for a transmission and body shop.
Ike's love of ice fishing helped him introduce snowmobiles to the area when he opened the first area Ski-Doo dealership.
Ike started a wrecking yard after he bought an old car from Ferguson Douglas for parts he couldn't find elsewhere.
In 1963, Ike and Larry Moore started the first and only stock car club in the area, and racing continues there today. In 1965, Ike moved his transmission shop to Shockley's trailer court, which is now TNT Body Shop. It was during this time that Ike owned seven snowmobile dealerships.
The inconvenience of running back and forth to his wrecking yard prompted the construction of the present-day Ike's Transmission shop and wrecking yard, which became the largest wrecking yard in Northwest Colorado.
Ike was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Elwood and Marlin Eisenhauer; his grandparents and many aunts and uncles from Pennsylvania.
He is survived by his wife, Delia Eisenhauer; a sister, Mary Bradley and her husband, Mike, of Fox Hollow, Penn.; ten children, Dale Eisenhauer and his wife, Roberta, of Turbotville, Penn., Robert Meckley and his wife, Sharon, of Craig, Charles Eisenhauer and his wife, LaVon, of Salt Lake City, Kelly Eugene Patton of Pennsylvania, Terri Brenda Kirk and her husband, Ray, of Ohio, Joyce Clements and her husband, Burt, of Craig, Mary Jo Checketts and her husband, Doyle, of Craig, Sharon Gilford and her husband, Dave, of Lakeland, Fla., Delia Cass and her husband, Randy, of Bakersfield, Calif., and Elwood Eisenhauer and his wife, Lanore, of Craig; 26 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and friends.
A celebration of Ike's life was held Wednesday at Grant Mortuary in Craig.