Father and son retire together from Damson Honda

The Story

Jerry Hayes talks with David and Gil Williams about their many years working together at Damson Automotive in Huntsville. (Gregg Stone/WHNT News 19)

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - For years, David Williams started his work day at Jerry Damson Honda by pushing the button to open the doors to the service department. “Every morning at quarter to seven,” he says proudly. He’s been helping run the department for the past 17 years.

David’s father, Gil Williams proudly says, “He’s kept the shop clean and done everything that needs to be done in that area.” David has worked alongside his father who has been with the Damsons for 32 years. You’ve probably run into one or both of them if you’ve ever done business there.

David was born in 1980. He has Down syndrome. “He overcame those problems with prayer and help from the Lord,” his dad told me. David started school when he was 7 and graduated from Heritage Christian Academy in Fayetteville in 1998. That’s when he started going to work with his dad. The Damson family immediately fell in love with him and hired him.

With about 250 vehicles coming through the service department every day, David put the rings on the key and mirror tags to identify it. When I asked him if he put the David touch on it, he smiled and said, “Yeah.” David also shreds the paper in the accounting office and as he puts it, “I push brooms.” He does whatever he needs to do to contribute to the team. There are no bad days at work. In fact, when asked if he’d ever had a bad day in 17 years, he said, “Nope.”

Several days a week, David would ride with another employee, Tammy Sharp, running errands. “Everybody loves Dave," Tammy told us. "He brings just so much joy and smiles to people’s hearts.”

But now, David and his father are driving off into the sunset. “I can’t wait,” David said with a smile. They retired December 22nd. They’re going to enjoy their 160-acre farm in Tennessee appropriately named “Amen Acres.” David says he’s looking forward to splitting wood, cutting the grass and going fishing.

But more exciting than that, he tells us, “I’m going to Daytona.” David and his brother are going to the Daytona 500 to watch his favorite driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. In fact, David has ridden in Jr’s #8 and #88 cars. And they did 170 miles per hour at the track. He even talked his dad into taking a few laps.

“It scared me to death,” Gil said. “Yeah, I made him sick,” David responded laughing. Gil adds, “170 miles per hour is way too fast but David loves it.” David smiled and simply said, “Yep.” Here’s wishing both of them many more years of life in the fast lane of retirement.

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