Perhaps it was the fact he was three years shy of the big-three-zero-mid-life-crisis, or perhaps it was his true passion for vehicle repair, but in 1976, 27-year-old Joe Dechaine decided to open JD Collision Ltd. in Bonnyville, Alberta. JD Collision was officially open for business.
His wife, Rose Marie Dechaine, was not only Joe’s partner in life but also his partner in business, right from the beginning. She started out as the accountant and office manager and still oversees the finances today.
In the beginning, Joe was the main repair technician, frame consultant, painter, and estimator. There were approximately 5 other employees, including technicians and apprentices, to work alongside Joe when the business started and 4 years later, in 1980 Joe & Rose decided to offer their services in Cold Lake.
Even as the 80’s brought difficult times for many businesses, Joe and his team brought in new frame repair technology, a down draft paint room, and bake chamber facilities. J.D. Collision was also the first shop in the area to bring in the new and innovative collision repair technology of base coat/clear coat refinishing.
As the years progressed Joe and Rose’s children Luc, Pat and Joel (all taking after their father’s passion for cars) became Journeymen Auto Body Technicians. Paul Oulette, son-in-law and bro-in-law, also followed this path, leaving his teaching profession to become a Journeyman Auto Body Technician. In 2007 Joel, Luc, Pat and Paul became co-owners of the business. Who knows, in this family business, perhaps a third generation of the family will pick up the hammers and carry on with the family tradition.