The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

February 4, 2014

Family bonding: Brother-sister team runs Haupt Welding

— MAHONING TWP. — Kathy Snyder pulls down her red and yellow helmet, puts on her gloves and turns on the welding torch.

Welding has been a way of life for 31 years for Snyder, who owns her dad’s welding shop, founded in 1960, at 1608 Reedy St.

She and her brother, Glenn “Skip” Haupt Jr., followed in the footsteps of their father, Glenn Sr.

“He worked on his own until us kids got older,” said Snyder, who bought Haupt Welding from their dad in 1995. He taught the petite woman the trade.

Her brother has been a welder for 41 years.

Now 58, her brother started helping out in the welding shop when he was 14. He lied about his age so he could get a welding job when he was 17 at ACF Industries in Milton.

After working there 11 years, he took over what he described as their dad’s roadwork which involves traveling with his welding truck and equipment to the location to do welding.

On a recent Tuesday, he was in Williamsport welding a helicopter landing pad. He often heads to farmers’ fields when equipment has broken down.

“I’m the owner — he’s the subcontractor,” said Snyder of her brother who uses half their welding building next to Snyder’s home, the family homestead.

Their dad, who turns 83 this year, now lives in Paxinos.

From 1993-96, while he was living in Sunbury, Haupt Jr. welded equipment for a road project in Duncannon.

“Dad used to do a lot of work for Wilkes Pools parts and boat racks and he needed help so he trained me,” said Snyder, 56, who remembers starting in the business when her son, Jacob Jr., now 36, was in kindergarten. A widow, she also has a daughter, Tracy Fagley, and three grandsons.

Glenn Haupt Jr. has two children — Julie Moon and Glenn III, both of Irish Valley — and four grandchildren.

“When I started it was just a job, but now I really enjoy it and am happy with what I’m doing,” Snyder said. She welds aluminum, stainless steel, white metal and magnesium.

She often works on fuel tanks, boat propellers — ”anything aluminum.” “We fabricate tool boxes or repair them. We do a lot of work on boats. We just had somebody from Aristes here. People from Canada send their boat props by UPS. I fix them and send them back UPS,” she said.

Glenn Haupt Jr. welds steel, including frames of four vehicles to be repaired sitting outside their shop. On a recent Wednesday, he was working on a snow plow.

“I had a 2006 model here the other day with two holes in the floor,” he said of the latest model year he has welded.

“Since the economy has been bad, our work has picked up because people are choosing to have repairs done instead of buying new,” Snyder said.

They also do work for municipalities, including Danville and Mahoning Township and Geisinger Medical Center and the Montour County Jail. Haupt has welded mowers for St. Cyril and Maria Joseph Manor.

With a shop around for more than 50 years, they get people stopping in to visit along with customers. A recent visitor was a cousin, Dan Tharp, who worked with Snyder and her dad for a long time.

Snyder said she isn’t aware of another woman owning a welding shop in the area.

She said it’s probably unusual for a brother and sister to work together welding for 30 years.

“We get along. We tease each other so much some people think we’re fighting. We’re just joking around,” her brother said.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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