Kenton Brothers’ Curtis Robison Retiring After 41 Years In The Industry

Curtis Robison

Kenton Brothers is both happy and sad to announce that Curtis Robison is retiring after 41 years in the locksmith and safe industry.

Curtis leaves with 41 years years of industry experience under his belt; the last seven as part of the Kenton Brothers team.

Gina Stuelke, President and CEO of Kenton Brothers, had this to say:  “Curtis is an industry icon. I appreciate how incredibly passionate he is about the locksmithing trade and we wish him well!  He will be missed!”

With so much experience, we just had to ask Curtis a few questions before his time at Kenton Brothers officially comes to an end:

Q: How did you get into this industry?

A: “Well, a combination of things, really. Part of it was I had my own small business in a small town that couldn’t support it, and I had done an apprenticeship at a safe business.”

Q: What are you most looking forward to in retirement?

A: “Sleeping later, not getting up so early every morning. I’m not a morning person. I have several industry related projects to work on and I hope to do more teaching. I’d like to work at getting better with some of my tools. I have about 10,000 books I haven’t read yet. Probably about 4,000 of them in the house.”

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: “The big city. I’m moving to Marysville, KS. It’s big enough that it has a Wal-Mart. It also has a fair-sized manufacturing business my brother works for. They make tilt bed trucks and trailers. They made tank carrying trailers for Desert Storm.”

Q: Do you have any profound words of wisdom you’d like to share?

This is a sketch of Curtis done by one of our customers!

A: “I’ve always worked on the basis of getting as much education as I can, both formal and informal… and doing the best job I can, be it large or small.  I don’t know if that’s really profound. [wink]”

Shortly after his retirement was announced, Curtis was standing near the front door of the sales and marketing office, admiring a Smart Car parked in the parking lot.

He looked over and said: “You know, if they’re gonna get me a gold watch when I retire, they might want to consider getting me one of those instead… probably cheaper, but I want a yellow one.”

His last day with Kenton Brothers will be Tuesday, November 30th. While there won’t be a yellow Smart Car waiting for Curtis, we will be hosting a “Happy Retirement Breakfast” in his honor on Friday, December 3rd at our office.

Kenton Brothers staff, clients and friends are encouraged to join us as we thank Curtis for his service and wish him the best as he enters retirement!

Thank You and Best Wishes Curtis! You will be missed!

Kenton Brothers Loses One Of Their Own: Bill Kenton

The Kenton Brothers family recently lost one of their own when Bill Kenton, 91, of Lee’s Summit, MO passed away peacefully on Tuesday Oct. 5, 2010 surrounded by his loving family.

Bill was born September 10, 1919 in Kansas City to William and Mamie Kenton. He served in the Navy on a Destroyer ship in the Aleutian Islands with PT Boat Bases in the  Philippines.

After WWII, Bill returned to Kansas City and worked to build Kenton Brothers Locksmiths, established in 1897 by his father William, and his uncle, Leon Kenton. Bill employed and trained many area locksmiths and was also the author of two technical books that were well known in the trade. Bill was so proud of the fact that the company was still operating into the fourth generation of family ownership.

Bill was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Ararat Shrine, and was a true outdoorsman who enjoyed bird hunting, fishing and boating at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Of  her grandfather’s legacy, Kenton Brothers CEO Gina Stuelke said:

“Papa Kenton was a legend in the locksmithing industry. He was very passionate about the industry and about Kenton Brothers. Up until three weeks before his passing, he was still coming into the Kenton Brothers office, where he had worked since he was 12 years old. If one of our technicians was struggling with a mechanical lock component that wouldn’t come apart, he’d just tell them in his abrupt way ‘Well it didn’t grow there!’ He was very proud that our family’s fourth generation was operating Kenton Brothers. My thanks to him for such an amazing opportunity. He will be missed.”