by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG- John & Rosemary Luginbill, owners of the Napa Auto Parts Store in Walsenburg for 32 years, have retired. The store closed Aug. 1 at its W. 7th Street location next to the 7-11 Convenience Store. John says another Napa Parts Store will likely open again soon in Walsenburg but possibly at a different location and with new owners. Nothing has been finalized with anyone as yet. Anyone who has warranty items they need to have taken care of can have things handled at Napa stores in Pueblo or Trinidad.
The Luginbills moved to Walsenburg to open up the store in 1979. John worked at a Napa store during his college days and also at his father-in-law’s Napa store in Rocky Ford. Born in La Junta, John worked as a school teacher for 15 years in Pueblo before going fulltime into the auto parts business.
Rosemary was born in Denver but raised in Rocky Ford. She helped out at her father’s Napa Auto Parts store in Rocky Ford. She worked side by side with her husband at the store in Walsenburg during its 32-year operation.
Both say it has been a great 32 years working and helping people at their business. In retiring, they say they will miss the people but enjoyed the fact they could work together the entire time. The Luginbills have been married for 48 years. They hope to relax and take a trip here and there, now that they don’t have to put in the 60-plus hours per week they have been doing for a long, long time. John is a deacon at St. Mary Church and hopes to have time to work on more projects there.
Huerfano World Journal historian, Nancy Christofferson says John McCarthy opened Walsenburg Auto Supply at 230 W. 6th in June of 1976. The next year it moved to 528 Main Street. Luginbill bought the store from Jim Gunn in August of 1979. Luginbill had a 60 by 75 foot Butler building installed in 1980 and moved into it in March 1981.