After a more than 51-year career, Ralph Stevenson, of Stevenson’s Service Center, celebrated his retirement with a party at his shop last Friday.

Stevenson started his career in March 1968, and, in addition to the body shop work, Stevenson’s Service Center has also spent the past 31 years on the county wrecker rotation.

While the day-to-day operations of Stevenson’s Service Center will continue uninterrupted, Stevenson has handed the reins of the business to Doug’s Towing and Recovery, a body shop and wrecker service based out of Elizabethtown, Kentucky that is run by Kevin Estes.

Stevenson and Estes have worked together off and on for the past 25 years, and Doug’s also does AAA work in Grayson County, so when the time came for Stevenson to retire, Estes said the purchase of Stevenson’s Service Center just fell into place.

According to Estes, the facility will keep the same name, and its operations will continue as normal also.

“I feel good about turning over the business to them,” Stevenson said, adding that he could not have asked for anyone better to do so.

To celebrate Stevenson’s long career, a retirement party was held in his honor last Friday, and it was attended by numerous local officials, first responders, and community members.

“I appreciate all of my customers the last 50 years,” Stevenson said.

Now that he is retired, Stevenson said he plans to try to travel but notes that he will likely still be around the shop from time to time.

Stevenson’s Service Center is located at 655 Commerce Dr. in Leitchfield and can be reached by phone at 270-259-5788.