U.P. City Council makes official proclamation to honor Hap Gaylord


U.P. City Council makes official proclamation to honor Hap Gaylord

By Matt Nagle


In honor of the late Hap Gaylord, longtime University Place business owner and resident who passed away on Aug. 25, the University Place City Council unanimously approved a formal proclamation on Nov. 4 stating Gaylord’s extraordinary impact on U.P. and expressing condolences to his family. Gaylord was beloved by everyone who knew him as a generous businessman, an anchor in his community, and someone who sought no praise for the countless good deeds with which he blessed so many people. 

Hap’s son Greg Gaylord, wife Cindy and their daughter Gracie were present for the proclamation presentation, which was done by U.P. City Council Member Javier Figueroa. 

“I thought it was a really neat gesture, something that doesn’t happen for a lot of people,” Greg said after the presentation. “It makes it an historic fact that my dad meant something to the community even before University Place was a city and after. It was a kind gesture, cementing my dad’s place in the history of University Place. I want to personally thank Javier for leading it and Mayor (Kent) Keel and the council for taking their time to do it.”

“There are a lot of citizens in our community that represent us well and then there are those who step up to the plate even more,” Figueroa said during the presentation. “Hap gave in so many ways to our community…an exceptional individual.”

Figueroa later told the Tacoma Weekly, “A city, especially of our size, is comprised of a community. That is what makes a city, not the city government. One of the things this proclamation does is to recognize those who have been part of our community for a long time.”

Figueroa noted Hap’s record of being in business, going back to 1958, and never had a mark against him. “To have someone like Hap stay in business for that long is no small task. Anyone that can stay in the community that long and provide a service needs to be recognized and especially one that lived here and had their family here.”

The full text of the proclamation accompanies this article.


WHEREAS,on behalf of the City of University Place, we wish to extend our sincere condolences over the passing of Hap Gaylord; and 

WHEREAS,Hap’s death leaves the people in our community with deep feelings of sorrow for the loss of such an honored and respected citizen; and 

WHEREAS,it was 1958 when Hap Gaylord established Hap’s Westside Auto Repair and Hap’s Towing in what is now called University Place, and ever since then, it has been a landmark for those who live here. Hap’s was the longest running business in University Place; and 

WHEREAS,Hap himself was a landmark as well – one of the last of the businessman from that era when “making a buck came second to making a friend.” That was Hap’s business philosophy and it served him beautifully throughout his 60 years behind the front counter; and 

WHEREAS,Hap preferred to do his good deeds in private. He never sought thanks or accolades – he was always about paying it forward; and 

WHEREAS,for years, Hap donated cars to the University Place fire station for training in extricating people from wrecked cars. He also donated cars and motors to the Curtis High School auto shop for students to learn with; and 

WHEREAS, Hap rendered service with such devotion that he earned the respect, admiration and friendship of all citizens of our community; and 

WHEREAS,if there was anything Hap would want, it would be for people to genuinely take care of and be nice to each other, no matter who they are. 

NOW, THEREFORE, we hereby extend to his family our sincere sympathy upon his passing. 


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