Randy Schetky, the president and owner of Schetky Northwest, a dealer and service provider for Thomas Built Buses and Collins Bus school buses in Oregon and Washington state, died of cancer. He was 69.
Schetky died on April 3, after he was diagnosed with cancer last year, said his sons David and Chase, both vice presidents for the dealership, in an email on Monday. Chase Schetky told School Transportation News that he and David have assumed co-ownership and will jointly lead the company going forward.
Randy Schetky graduated from Oregon State University in 1975 and began working full time for his father John at the newly formed Schetky Northwest. Grandfather Jack Schetky, who assembled the first school bus west of the Mississippi River in 1931, formed the first iteration of the company as Roots Schetky during World War II.
By 1980, Randy launched the company’s commercial bus division. That aspect of the company now includes national sales and resulted in a new name, Schetky Bus & Van Sales as well as operations in Arizona.
The company headquarters is in Portland, Oregon, and it has four other locations in Washington state.
“During his tenure as president of Schetky, Randy took what was a regional dealer and grew the business into one of the top-selling dealerships in the nation. Randy took great pride in providing the industry’s best after-the-sale support,” the company announcement stated. “It was his focus on customer service that lead Schetky to grow from one service facility to five, spanning the Northwest and Arizona.”
Thomas Built Buses named Schetky Northwest a Platinum Support Dealer in 2018. The award recognizes a dealer’s ability to provide customers with rapid diagnoses of mechanical issues, responsive turnaround and quality, consistent communication, robust parts availability and superb customer service, all provided by a highly trained staff.
The family said it is unable to plan Schetky’s funeral or celebration of life at this time, due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. But an announcement will follow as soon as arrangements can be made.
In addition to David and Chase (wife Liana), Schetky is survived by wife Linley, granddaughter Maya, and brother Steve (wife Chris).
Photos courtesy of Kim Hevia and Schetky Northwest.