BURLINGTON, Ont. — In March, the trucking industry lost a former truck driver, an outstanding salesman, and a true trucking ambassador.
Pat Sheehan, who owned and operated Sheehan’s Truck Centre – a Volvo truck dealership – in Burlington, Ont. died on March 9 of cancer. He was 75 years old.
According to his family, trucking was in Pat’s veins. He emigrated to Canada in 1965 and starting working as a long-haul driver for several companies until 1974 when he began selling trucks for different dealerships in Hamilton and Toronto.
In 1989, he branched out with his wife, Gayle and opened a used truck shop in Aberfoyle, Ont. Two years later, they secured a Volvo franchise. Sheehan’s Truck Centre moved to Burlington in 1996.
Pat retired officially in 1999 and turned the reins of the business over to his daughter Kelly and son Dennis who are now the president and vice-president of Sheehan’s, respectively.
Most of all, Pat loved trucks, Kelly said.
“He liked to drive and see the country,” she said. “Even after he retired, he loved to drive around in the country with mom and go looking at trucks with Dennis so he could see his friends in the industry and play around with the trucks.”
His son Dennis said he will never forget his father’s dedication to hard work.
“He had the shop in Aberfoyle custom-built exactly the way he wanted it,” Dennis recalled. “He started off with only four or five trucks in inventory and with hard work and dedication slowly built it up over the next year or so to 25-30, doing all the buying and selling himself.”
Both Kelly and Dennis said that their father was a fair-minded salesman who would bend over backwards for each and every customer that walked through his doors.
“Dad was a kind man and often helped customers that were down on their luck to turn their situation around,” Kelly said. “He believed in having a large selection of well-reconditioned used trucks in the yard at all times and promised to find you whatever you were looking for if he didn’t already have it.”
“If he told somebody something it was the truth and his word was as good as gold,” Dennis added. “He was very fair and wanted everyone that had dealt with him to leave a happy customer.”
Pat is survived by his wife, Gayle, daughter, Kelly and sons Dennis and Kevin.