ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Friends, family, and coworkers lined up along the parade route to wish Gus well as he heads off for treatment.

By Anne Eickstadt


At 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 7, a mini-parade honoring a long-time employee was held at Jack Wolf Auto Group. Gus Santa Olalla was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. It has spread from his thyroid to his lungs and beyond.

Tony McIntire, Operations Manager for 23 years for the Jack Wolf Auto Group, arranged for the parade. “Jack Wolf is a family business,” he said. “If you work here you are part of the family. Gus was diagnosed in January and it has progressively gotten worse. We are hoping for positive feedback and recovery. He is leaving for the Mayo Clinic today. We can’t go visit him so we will stand in front of our cars – we measured, it’s six feet so we can maintain social distancing – and still show respect to Gus.”

Jacky Hennelly, Gus’ daughter said, “He is amazing. He is very kind, dependable, generous, selfless, and compassionate.” When Jacky became too overcome to continue speaking, her husband and aunts continued for her. “He does not know the word ‘no.’ He would always find a way. His family is everything. Family is always first on his list. He never burned a bridge – ever. He is the kindest person you will ever meet. He is 56-years-old. He does not smoke or drink. He works out. He has been healthy as a horse until this.”

Gus worked for Lou Bachrodt Chevy for over 20 years before he came to work at Jack Wolf Cadillac GMC and has worked here for the last 13 years. “There are no competitors when it comes to something like this,” Tony McIntire said, mentioning that representatives from the Chevy dealer were on hand to deliver their best wished for Gus.

Doug Dyer, retired from Lou Bachrodt, said Gus began working for them in the early 1980s. “He was the best service advisor in the country,” said Dyer. “And he is a big Bears fan.”

“Gus was already there when I started in 1986,” said Rachel Bachrodt. “Gus could speak in Spanish and English and still follow a third conversation. He taught me everything about the service department. He worked his way up the ranks. He is a wonderful, loving guy, which is why, all these years later, we are all here. He left a definite mark on our dealership. He set the standard for service.”

Co-workers, friends, and family lined the parade route around the parking lot of the Jack Wolf dealership. They waved, shouted out greetings and healthy wishes, and honked their horns as Gus rode by in a golf cart behind the Belvidere Police and Fire Department vehicles.

We wish you good health, Gus, and a swift return to your family and friends here in Belvidere.

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