HJ/EDJuly 17, 2006

The end of an era

By Lynda Jensen

When the original founder of Dura Supreme in Howard Lake died last Monday, it was more than just the passing of a man.

It was another page in the book of an era where longevity was a value – which Stotts took seriously in his work life and family, since he spent just short of three decades with Dura Supreme and was married to his wife Arlene for 50 years.

Stotts incorporated Dura Supreme in 1963, and operated it for 27 years before passing the reigns to his son, Keith, in 1990. Keith continues to be president of the family business today.

Today, Dura is a thriving business that manufacturers custom cabinetry, which just finished a sixth addition to its building, bringing the total square footage to about 220,000 square feet.

It employs 650 people in the area, and as such, is the largest employer in Wright County.

Dura has sales representatives in all 50 states, which services a network of more than 450 dealers across the country.

The company offers upscale custom cabinetry which includes a customer European frameless line, curved glass doors, and other specialized handiwork. It gives a limited lifetime guarantee on its work. The cabinets made at Dura are prepaid and pre-ordered, not manufactured with the hopes that they sell on the market.

Character wise, Don Stotts was honest and a hard worker, said Roy Scherer of Dura Supreme. “He would work seven days a week,” he said. Scherer worked with Stotts for 25 years.

“He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty,” he said. “He treated employees very well.”

Stotts was married to his wife, Arlene, for 50 years. Arlene is originally from the Waverly area, he noted.

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