CUYAHOGA FALLS — What can a son do to honor his father?
Max and Dan Currier have found one way. They are honoring their father, Jim Currier, by helping him run the family business, Jim and Sons Transmission Service, now in its 60th year, and promising to take it over when he retires.
Jim’s Transmission Service was founded in 1958 in the North Hill section of Akron by Jim’s father, who also went by Jim. In 1982, Jim and Son’s Transmission, as it was now known, moved to 2679 Front St. in Cuyahoga Falls. In 2002, the business moved into a new building at 2786 Front St. where it is today.
And although the sign on the building says Jim and Son’s, it’s really Jim and Sons, which represents the second and third generations of Curriers involved in the business. Jim Jr., whose full name is Robert James Currier, said working with his father was something he’ll never forget. He said he started working with his father in the early 1970s.
"My dad was the originator of the business and I took over for him when he died in 1990," he said. "He and I worked hand-in-hand, and then my boys came on board back when they were in their teens. They took auto mechanics in high school and then came to work with me. Things worked out well. They stayed and they’re going to take over the business."
Currier said he learned a lot working with his father. "He was good with people and a hard worker," he said. "He built the business from scratch." Currier said he’s glad he and his father moved their business to Cuyahoga Falls.
"That was one of the best moves we ever made," Currier said. "I’m not knocking North Hill, but I love the Falls. When we came here in 1982 our business just thrived." Jim and Sons has 14 employees in Cuyahoga Falls and four in North Canton.
Jim said he remembers his father for being a good mentor. "He was the best," he said. "He taught me everything I know and I owe it all to him. We increased the size of our business four-fold through all the ways he taught me and showed me."
Beverly Watson, Jim Currier’s cousin, is the office manager in the Cuyahoga Falls shop. She said all three of the elder Jim’s sons worked in the shop. Young Jim had three sons, Jimmy, Matt and Dan. Watson said all of the sons and grandsons came into the shop when they were kids and swept the floor.
Currier, 63, said he is semi-retired and working three days a week. "I’ve been doing that for the past year or two," he said. "Probably in the next year or two I’ll cut back to a half-day a week." Currier has been working mainly at the North Canton location, which opened in 2014.
Jim said said he is not worried about the next generation of Curriers taking over.
"The business will be in good hands," he said. "I’ve been working hand-in-hand with them about the last five years. They do real well. I wouldn’t have it any other way." Jim said he likes what he does, indicating he’s proud and thankful for his work.
"We do good work and take care of people," he said. "The Lord’s supplied us with a good way to make a living." Jim Currier said he loves what he does and looks forward to the day each morning. "It makes the job very enjoyable when you love what you do. It’s a beautiful thing," he said.
Watson said Jim’s sons are like her boys. "I’m their work mama," she said. Watson said she likes working at Jim and Sons because of the customers. "We’re very touchy-feely; very compassionate with our customers," she said. "We cry with them. We have a list on the wall for birthdays, anniversaries, babies. I send cards to them all the time. We’re just very hands-on with our customers."
Dan Currier, 33, said he and his brother, Max, used to come in and scrub the floors until they could work on the cars with their dad. Dan said he loves working in the shop.
"I like the challenge of figuring out these new transmissions," he said. "Transmissions are up to 10 speeds nowadays and they’re getting into different complex versions … I like the challenge of fixing something, make it right and give it back to the customer. When they appreciate what you did for them, that’s the best feeling."
Max Currier, 35, said he started coming into the garage when he was in grade school, and helped out by cleaning up around the shop and fetching his father coffee. Max and Dan have a sister, Frances, who just graduated from high school and is going to attend Florida State University. Their brother, Jimmy, died in 2014.
Max said he was born into the business and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
"I couldn’t ask to work with anybody else. It’s awesome to come here with my brother and be a part of it with my dad," he said. "…It’s just nice. A lot of people don’t get to be around their dad or their brother. They move out of state. I’m very fortunate to get to see them every day. We get along pretty well; we butt our heads, too, like everybody."
Max Currier said what helps is keeping work at work. "When we go home, it’s family. We never bring the stress of work home," he said. "I think that’s why our relationships are so good. I couldn’t do it without my brother."
Reporter Steve Wiandt can be reached at 330-541-9420, email@example.com @SteveWiandt_RPC.