Out with the old…In with the new
Wed, 11/08/2023 - 8:07am admin
Local longtime residents Phil Hahn and James Sandgren and their families welcomed approximately 150 people to celebrate the end of one and the start of another business in the Bison community. After serving the Bison area for 37 years, Phil’s Paint ‘n’ Body will be closing their doors, but the same shop doors are now open for customers of Trinity Electrical Works
OUT WITH THE OLD Phil Hahn grew up in LaGrange, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. While attending high school at Sunshine Bible Academy near Miller, SD Phil’s interest in auto body was sparked while studying a chapter in a book in a shop class.
While at SBA, Phil also met South Dakota farm girl, Vicki Brockel. The couple was married in 1979 and lived in Rapid City for 3 years where Phil began refurbishing automobiles. After an invitation by Vicki’s uncle, Dean Penor to work for him at Penor’s Texaco, they moved to Bison. Phil always had the dream to have his own business by the time he was 25 years old. Others who encouraged him in his business endeavors were father-in-law, Ted Brockel and Loyd Veal. In 1986, Loyd helped finance and construct Phil’s Paint ‘n Body shop. Despite the small community, the business grew to serve the many needs of the community.
Phil and Vicki welcomed their daughter, Allison into the family in October 1990. Vicki has been Phil’s bookkeeper and life-long chief financial officer.
After 37 years of serving the Bison area, Phil has no idea how many different vehicles he has worked on. Most of the work he performed was during the busy fall months when deer hits are most common. Phil was a long-time mechanic for the Gene Smith Bus Company. Phil gained many long-time and repeat customers who were happy with the quality of work he did. Phil was happy to be of service to his customers and delighted in seeing how satisfied they were when he was able to meet their needs. In Phil’s early years, he especially enjoyed restoring many classic cars. Some of his favorites included: Keith Carr’s Hudson Hornet and Dale and June’s Shinabarger’s Ford Mustang, a Ford Thunderbird, Pete Deuschle’s Studebaker, and his father-in-law Ted’s 1929 Model A.
Phil started his pastoral duties in the spring of 2002. He was able to balance the two responsibilities when Todd Veal and Jacob Kolb were hired at just the right times. His church congregation was very understanding and supportive Phil & Vicki will continue to serve the ministry of the church and work in his garden. They will enjoy their retirement spending time with their daughter, Allison and Ryan and granddaughters, Maraya and Emma.
IN WITH THE NEW- James Sandgren grew up on the family ranch north of Bison and has called this home for nearly 60 years. After marrying local girl, Marci Deuschle in 1987, the couple started out in Spearfish where James worked at Hansen Electric for one and a half years as an apprentice. He earned his license in heating and cooling while on-the-job at Al Cornella Refrigeration where he worked for 4-5 years.
In 1993, James and Marci returned home to Bison to help out his folks on the ranch and he did electrical work on the side. But soon, ranching fell by the way-side as his workload increased. They began HS Electric which is named after his Grandfather Herbert Sandgren’s brand. James covered a large work area establishing many loyal customers over 10 years. Pete Deuschle, Marci’s father, was a long-time business giant in South Dakota and was a huge role model for James. He is following in Pete’s footsteps by the quality of work he does and meeting the needs of his many customers. His work ethic is to do it right the first time. Other men of influence in his life were Dean Penor and Don Even.
The work-load became so heavy that James was not able to ranch and do all the electrical work himself. He began working at Grand Electric in 2002. Working there allowed him to spend more time with his family including children, Kylee and Matthew. Shortly after starting at Grand, Matthew was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 5. James had the freedom to attend the many appointments and be with his family.
In 2021, James and Marci prayerfully made the decision to begin their own business, Trinity Electrical Works. The chosen name is a reminder that their business is God-led and God-driven. Teigen Clark was the first employee to work with James. As the work demand increased, employees, Willie Anderson and Evan Lopez were also hired full time. These three young men were school-mates at Sunshine Bible Academy and earned their degrees and roomed together at Western Dakota Tech. They also designed the Trinity Electrical Works logo focusing on the cross of Christ. Bonnie Crow fits nicely into the group and has committed to work as Trinity’s business manager. The business base is now located at the former Phil’s Paint ‘n Body shop. James is a Certified Electrical Contractor in South Dakota and a Master Electrician in North Dakota.
Besides commercial electrical work and wiring, Trinity Electrical Works is ready to serve the community offering many services including: underground trenching and fault locates, installing generators, range and solar wells, security lights and installing HVAC units (heating, ventilation, air conditioning).