Sam Hesseling – Customer for Decades, Family for Life.

Sam Hesseling, and his wife Deb, have been loyal customers and friends of Runde’s for 4 decades. Sam has seen Runde’s grow from a small car dealer into the impressive dealership it is today. The Hesselings are part of the Runde Family and are a part of what made Runde’s what it grew to be. We got a chance to talk with Sam and had a wonderful conversation with him about his experiences with Runde’s and his salesman, Al Kloft.

Hello Sam, So Al Kloft has been telling us that Sam is not your real name?
I go by Sam, my real name is Robert, but my father’s name is Robert and it just got too confusing in the house so I just went by Sam which is my middle name.

So does everybody call you Sam?
Oh yes, everyone calls me Sam. If someone calls me Robert I look around and wonder who they are talking to.

I’m assuming you sign things as Robert at least?
Oh yes, when I have to sign something I have to use my legal name, Robert.

Where do you live Sam?
I grew up in East Dubuque but now I live in Dubuque. I know the Runde family very well. I knew Paul and played ball with him. Sorry to hear he just passed away. Going back to 1970, I bought my first car here. It was a yellow Chevelle and it was just amazing. Now, 40 years later, I come to Runde’s and I can’t help but think “WOW” to how much it has grown throughout the years. They came from an inventory of about 10-12 vehicles and you had to order most of the cars. Now it’s one stop shopping with four stores selling all those different makes of vehicles. It’s just amazing the vastness of it all.

How did you go about starting your search for the vehicle you picked up today?
I searched online first and when I came into the lot. Al showed me a bunch of vehicles that I was interested in, he was really helpful. I didn’t realize that the car I was particularly interested in was on your lot in Manchester, but my salesman, Al Kloft, made a call and they transported it down here just for me to look at. When it came, everything was perfect with it.  Al Kloft is an excellent salesman.  It even came with some features I didn’t expect which was a nice surprise.

Impressed with the ride?
This is the third vehicle that I’ve bought from Runde’s in the last two and a half years. I bought a  2008 Equinox and we got a 2012 Equinox just in December. I liked that one so well which is why I bought the ’08 Equinox today. Over the years, I’ve probably bought over 10 vehicles – I’ve lost track of them all. We’ve always been very happy, always a great experience.

The Service is great too, I always have my service done here and I call up, they schedule an appointment and it gets done exactly how it should.

On a scale of 1-10 what would you give your experience with Runde’s and with Al Kloft?
I’d give everything a 10, no doubt about it.

Yes, it’ll be 40 years in May.

Any plans for the anniversary?
We already celebrated it in Fort Meyer’s Beach last month. We plan on going back again next year. It’s basically our winter get away. After we both retire we will probably spend our winters down there 3-4 months at a time.

Do you remember the fist date with your wife?
Yeah! Oh my gosh, it was back in 1970… actually it was November 7th of 1970. She was home from nursing training and I was going to Loras College at the time. We met at the Brothers Three … imagine that, a bar. We started dating, she was in Marshalltown, IA and I was in Dubuque so it was kind of long distance relationship but it ended up well. We’ve had a great life.

Don’t care for the winter so much?
Well, this winter we can’t really complain but I’m getting to the point where I don’t really want to mess with it anymore.

Any other places you guys plan on going for vacation?
We like keeping in the continental United States. We’ve been to Cape Cod, MA and it was amazing. We’ve also been to Nantucket, MA and that was fantastic.

How many kids do you have?
We have two girls, one girl lives in Pittsburgh, PA and that daughter has two kids and my other daughter lives in Champaign, IL and she has 3 kids. So we have 5 grand-kids total. We see them regularly and that’s another reason we wanted to get a vehicle with decent mileage that could suit our trips to see our family better.

Do you guys get together for the holidays?
We do, yes. Our daughters and their families come home for some holidays and we go to their homes sometimes. We don’t know if we are coming or going half the time but it is always amazing.

Any pets?
We have two little Schnauzers and we are watching our daughter’s Schnauzer which is deaf, making it kind of difficult to work with, but we enjoy having the animals around.

What do you do around the area?
I’m retired from Flexsteel and now I’m a career and maintenance tech for primer bank. It’s kind of my retirement job, I work there for 20-30 hours a week and do whatever they need done.

So you like to keep working, huh?
Yeah, I don’t think I could totally retire, I can’t just sit at home and do nothing. I’ve worked for 40 years in a factory and now this job allows me to experience different things and meet some interesting people. My wife is a nurse at Finely Hospital and she is kind of the same way. We don’t know what we would do with ourselves if we had every day with too much idle time.

Any hobbies?
I like to golf. My wife says I golf too much but I don’t think I golf enough. We like to exercise, walk and that kind of thing, keeping busy.

What golf course do you go to?
I go to Lacoma. A friend of mine (who actually just bought a new Corvette from Runde’s) and I actually own a golf cart over there.

If you were to win the lottery, what would you do with the money?
The grand-kids would have their schooling paid for and wouldn’t have to worry about finances but would probably still work. There’s a lot of charities that I would donate to as well. Not going to happen, but I can dream! You could help an awful lot of people with that kind of money.

Do you have any historical heroes?
I always did like history but I like Mickey Mantle – I got his autograph in 1957. I love baseball, basketball and football.

Would you recommend Runde’s to family and friends?
Oh, absolutely I would. I’ve been very satisfied and you’ve done very well by me so I have no reason not to.

Deb Hesseling, Sam’s wife, wrote this wonderful message to their salesman, Al Kloft, about their experience:

Thanks SO much for being so good to us with the purchase of our 2 nice vehicles! You have made our last 4 car purchases a great experience – not something to be dreaded! Thanks for all the goodies & extras!  You are a great guy & we love you all at Runde Chevrolet!!

– Deb Hesseling

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