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FORT LUPTON – Aqua Hot employees could count on many things from Harold “Hap” Enander, and one of those was a Norwegian joke at their weekly Monday meetings. Blue eyes sparkling, he …
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FORT LUPTON – Aqua Hot employees could count on many things from Harold “Hap” Enander, and one of those was a Norwegian joke at their weekly Monday meetings.
Blue eyes sparkling, he would relate his latest tale of “Ole and Lena” the main characters in most Norwegian jokes, then enjoy it right along with the employees. They were staples for the man who was proud of his heritage and enjoyed the jokes that poked fun at it.
Friends and co-workers remember those fond memories now.
Enander, 69, and his wife Velva “Sue” Enander, 60, were found dead in their rural Bennett home Thursday morning after deputies received a 911 call from a neighbor about 9:30. When deputies arrived at the home, in the 42000 block of 144th Avenue about 15 miles east of Brighton, they found the couple’s bodies.
Adams County Coroner Jim Hibbard confirmed the identities of the Enanders Friday afternoon and said both died from gunshot wounds.
Investigators have said little about possible motive behind the murders, but Adams County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Candi Baker stressed they do not believe it was a murder-suicide. While not releasing any suspect information, Baker said last week they did not believe there was a threat to the general public.
Paul Harter, the general manager of Aqua Hot, which makes heating systems for motor homes, said Hap was a gentle man.
“You would have had a hard time finding a nicer man,” he said. “He and Sue, they were the kindest, gentlest souls you’d ever hope to meet.”
The people who worked at Vehicle Systems, which became Aqua Hot in 2006, were special to Hap. There were yearly company family trips to Lake McConaughy in Nebraska. When Vehicle Systems, which Hap founded in 1989, celebrated its 20th anniversary, he staged a Hawaiian party and invited everyone who worked there and their families and thanked them for the success of the company. That was typical Hap, Harter said.
“He was always really quick to give credit to everybody and the Lord. Never once did he take credit for anything.”
Hap and his company were the honored business for the 2005 Trapper Days parade. He and his wife Sue, who he had recently married, eschewed the chance to ride in a convertible choosing instead to ride in one of his restored antique cars. He shared that passion with his employees also, with summer car shows at the plant where everyone could bring their vehicles.
Hap told the Fort Lupton Press in 2005 that the success of the business even caught him by surprise.
“I have been amazed, we have experienced phenomenal growth and success beyond our wildest dreams,” he said. “I give the Lord credit for it.”
He said the biggest break came when Monaco Coach Corp. decided to standardize his company’s product in their top-of-the-line coaches. He set the company’s goals at the time on continuing to expand and develop new products.
Hap handed over management of the company in 2006 to a new general manager and settled into retirement. He maintained his close ties to the people of Aqua Hot, Harter said.
“We went every year and bought Christmas presents for everybody. There were always gifts for the kids. We took the company trailer and filled it up last year at Sears Grand.”
Hap started the company 25 years ago this month, Harter said. “We were planning a dinner in his honor.”
Visitation for the couple will be Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. at the Tabor Funeral Home in Brighton. Their funeral will be 1 p.m., Friday, at the First Baptist Church, 610 Cherry St., Hudson.
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