Kyle Jensen / The Record — Whidbey Tire & Auto owner Dana Gildersleeve is retiring after serving South Whidbey for nearly 40 years.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Whidbey Tire & Auto owner Dana Gildersleeve is retiring after serving South Whidbey for nearly 40 years.

Whidbey Tire Auto set to close its doors after decades of service

After serving South Whidbey since 1980, Whidbey Tire & Auto owner Dana Gildersleeve is closing shop.

Gildersleeve is putting away his gloves after initially going into business with his father in the mid 1970s. Running the business on his own since the early 90s, the 68-year-old Gildersleeve decided “it’s just time” after saying he’s not getting any younger.

“It’s time for me to retire from the family operation,” Gildersleeve said. “Retirement is a bittersweet deal for me. I’m the second generation who ran the shop.”

The auto shop officially closed it’s doors this past Friday after Gildersleeve sold the business and the property. The shop was located at 2856 Howard Road, near The Goose Community Grocer.

Before the shop is replaced, Gildersleeve is hosting a get-together from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 to sell whatever is left of his shop equipment to other garages and mechanics with in-house shops. He added he’s sold most of his equipment already, but there’s some still up for grabs.

Gildersleeve and his father originally built an auto shop next to Bailey’s Corner in 1975 when they ran the corner store, according to Gildersleeve’s daughter Julie Kinskie. They later relocated their business to Howard Road and were there ever since.

“It’s one of those South Whidbey staples that’s always been there,” Kinskie said. “It’s going to be weird without it, and that’s not just coming from me, but from a lot of people in the area.”

Gildersleeve expressed his thanks to the South Whidbey community for the decades of business.

More in Business

See caption
Seafood delivery biz is catching on

F or millennial business owners Emily Wilder and Sam Mitchell, the world is their oyster.

Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times
Will Hawkins and Dawn Smith officially took ownership of Rainshadow Nursery on Oct. 1.
Rainshadow Nursery welcomes new owners

Dawn Smith and Will Hawkins of Greenbank officially took ownership of Rainshadow Nursery on Oct. 1.

Meagan Welsh and JT Hilton attend to the plants at Mutiny Bay Bamboo Co. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)
Freeland bamboo business booms

A new landscaping company is specializing in a fast-growing plant that is beautiful and sustainable.

See caption
New teriyaki truck rolls into Freeland

The new business, IC Teriyaki, is owned and operated by Eli Imbery and Carol Coble.

See caption
South Whidbey farm hosts fitness classes

If you’ve ever wanted to do bicep curls with a chicken or goat walking by, now might be your chance.

Andrew Curtis drops off groceries at a home in Clinton on a delivery run for Whidbey Deliveries. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)
South Whidbey grads run grocery delivery business

Graham Colar and Andrew Curtis deliver groceries and run errands on South Whidbey.

Whidbey Island tourism spikes in 2021

Daily visitors to Island County boomed this year despite COVID, with economic impact far-reaching.

Taylor Moore shows off one of her signature smoothie bowls. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)
Entreprenuer brings smoothie bowls to South Whidbey

Taylor Moore wants her own business to be a place where people can “rehabilitate themselves.”

Wiley
Salon that won PSE makeover to appear on Evening Magazine

A popular Coupeville spa and salon will be spotlighted in a reality makeover show this week.

Shannon Hamilton, front, and Wendi Hilborn own Whidbey Farm and Market on Monroe Landing Road outside of Oak Harbor. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
New market opens across from drive-in

Whidbey Farm and Market has close to 100 local products.

Sound Publishing makes $500K in grants available to struggling businesses

Sound Publishing has launched a local stimulus program to help businesses adapt… Continue reading

t
Despite 2020, Oak Harbor deli opens doors for business

An island-wide power outage and a pandemic couldn’t keep Zanini’s Deli from opening in Oak Harbor.