Dave Hight, longtime McGuckin {Hardware} proprietor, dies at 91


A feather duster in his again pocket, a joke on the prepared, an enormous snigger and a greeting for everybody he noticed — these had been the logos of Dave Hight, proprietor and CEO of McGuckin {Hardware}.
Hight spent 60 years tirelessly devoted to his workers, his clients and his neighborhood, serving to set up the ironmongery shop as a cornerstone of Boulder. He died Monday night time at 91.
Household, buddies and workers bear in mind Hight as somebody who knew the worth of individuals, befriending numerous clients and treating a whole lot of workers as his prolonged household. His work ethic helped cement McGuckin {Hardware} as an important a part of the enterprise neighborhood, keeping off company rivals and persevering with to develop the shop over the course of a long time.
Bob Perkins, who now manages the sports activities division, started working at McGuckin 40 years in the past as a salesman within the plumbing division and recollects being instantly impressed by Hight’s look after his workers.
“He walked right down to the ground with paychecks for each worker in his again pocket and he would greet everybody by first and final title and hand them the paycheck personally,” Perkins mentioned.
Hight turned a accomplice in his father-in-law Invoice McGuckin’s ironmongery shop in 1960. Alongside his spouse, Dee, Hight steered the shop from using a handful of individuals to roughly 250, sustaining his dedication to hiring sufficient workers, honest pay and preserving a listing readily available.
These weren’t fashionable enterprise selections, mentioned Clay Bonnyman Evans, who wrote the guide “Behind the Inexperienced Vest” about McGuckin {Hardware}. When Hight needed to order one thing in for a buyer, he would all the time order two, Evans mentioned — as a result of if one individual needed it, absolutely another person did as effectively.
“McGuckin is a family-owned enterprise that from the start has managed to fend off each single assault by a company, big-box, on-line no matter got here their manner,” Evans mentioned. “And whenever you step again and take a look at it and whereas these corporations had been reducing employees, reducing advantages and paying folks poorly, McGuckin’s philosophy was fully totally different.”
Hight dropped out of the College of Colorado Boulder after one 12 months as a result of he couldn’t afford it, mentioned his son, Barry Hight. After serving within the U.S. Navy and managing a retailer on Fremont Go, Dave Hight moved together with his household to Boulder.
“His well-known phrases about coming to work for his father-in-law when he got here residence to my mother is, ‘I don’t know the way one household does this, not to mention two,” Barry Hight mentioned, laughing.
Retailer supervisor Bernadette Tillis, who has labored at McGuckin for 30 years, remembers the shop opening the Thursday after the 2013 floods and Dave Hight making every day journeys to Denver or Colorado Springs to purchase sump pumps so folks may take away flood water from their properties. Traces of individuals would criss-cross your complete retailer ready for him to return.
“His ardour was serving his neighborhood. That was his No. 1 purpose so long as I’ve identified him, that from the time they opened the doorways — ‘I need to be right here for the neighborhood, give them what they’re asking for and handle my folks whereas doing that,’” she mentioned.
Barry Hight recalled his father being on trip in Fiji when a person from Mexico Metropolis approached him and mentioned he acknowledged him. The connection? The person had taken a visit to go to his son at CU Boulder, come into McGuckin to purchase fishing provides and met Dave Hight.
Up till March, Dave Hight was nonetheless stopping by the shop 5, six or seven days per week. He started staying residence, at his youngsters’s urgings, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
However he would nonetheless drive down and circle the shop when it was closed, peering within the home windows, Barry Hight mentioned.
On one journey residence from a physician’s appointment in December, Barry Hight drove his father by the shop the place 25 workers had gathered on the loading dock to want Dave Hight a Merry Christmas and sing to him.

“His dream was to be an excellent service provider in a small city and to be part of a neighborhood,” Barry Hight mentioned.
Dave and Dee Hight had been recipients of the Boulder Chamber Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, indicators of their affect on and help of the neighborhood, mentioned chamber President John Tayer.
“There are a number of iconic establishments in our neighborhood from a enterprise perspective, and Dave, Dee and their household have elevated a easy ironmongery shop to that standing,” Tayer mentioned.
Dave Hight is survived by his spouse, Dee, sons Barry, Brent and Robb, eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and his beloved canine, Jessie Lou. No memorial companies have been introduced.


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