BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bakersfield has lost one of its business giants.

David H. Urner, son of the founder of Urner’s Appliances, has passed away at 92.

Urner’s tenure with the family business spanned four generations, starting with his father, David E. Urner, who opened the doors in 1919, and continuing with his stepson Steve Illingworth, the current president.

21st & Union Location (Urner’s)

Cameron Illingworth, Urner’s vice president, said his grandfather knew the importance of adaptability in business.

“One thing he would always say to me was, ‘It’s not the way it used to be. These vendors are all changing.’ And it’s true, you know. And we keep kinda rolling with the tide and trying to modify our business plan and our product offerings as necessary to help continue,” Illingworth said.     

Urner passed away peacefully in his sleep sometime Friday night or Saturday morning.

The 1948 graduate of Bakersfield High School worked for Urner’s for 70 years, serving as its president from 1980 to 2019. He was active in the East Bakersfield Kiwanis Club and was a founding member of the Bakersfield Sister City Project with Wakayama, Japan.

Meanwhile, despite growing competition from chain stores, Urner’s continues to grow, having added a fourth location, a mattress store, in July of this year.

Services for David H. Urner will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 at Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery. The event will be open to the public.