A Brief History of Pykles Remodeling and Repairs


The story of Pykles Remodeling and Repairs begins back in the early 1940’s in San Diego, CA. Shortly after being discharged from the Army Air Force following WWII, a young man named Luke Russell went to work for two of his brothers, named Earl and Harmon, at “Russell’s Plumbing & Hardware” located at 4611 University Avenue.  After a short time, Luke had the opportunity of taking over the business for himself, but he needed someone’s help to do it. That’s when Luke thought to turn to his trusted brother-in-law, Howard Pykles, in Faribault, MN.

Howard was a production manager at the local newspaper in his hometown when he got the news from Luke about wanting to be partners in the Family plumbing business.  Luke’s letters made Howard perfectly aware of what it was Luke was asking. Not having much experience or knowledge of plumbing or hardware, Howard thought that he would take a chance. Leaving 25 years of experience in the newspaper industry, Howard decided to sell everything he had and take his wife and son, Craig, out to California.

craig_little_leagueThe small Family settled into their home on 5779 Mary Lane Dr. (now Campanile Dr.) and immediately took to Southern California’s easy, warm way of life while Howard and Luke went right to work. After a few years of success as partners, the two decided it was time to expand. Luke wanted to head to the East County and open 2nd store which would allow Howard to continue in business at the original location. So in 1952, Howard kept on at 4611 University Ave. while Luke opened up on Campo Road in Spring Valley.

Howard’s son, Craig, grew up in and around the business and enjoyed helping out while attending Crawford High School and San Diego State University. As Father and Son, the two enjoyed lots of golf, fishing, baseball, hunting and surfing which Craig describes as a “wonderful” childhood. Craig went on to graduate Cum Laude from San Diego State University in 1968 with a Degree in Math and a Minor in Business.

Craig went on to earn an MBA from Brigham Young University, two years later in 1970, and got married that same year in Los Angeles.  After taking a job as a business systems analyst in the administrative services department of Arthur Andersen and Co. in Los Angeles, Craig decided to join his Dad in the family business in 1971.craig_donna_pykles

As the years went by Howard Pykles decided it was time for a change of pace. His retirement commenced in 1979 and Craig prepared to lead the business. As part of the exchange, Craig and Howard sat down and discuss a major change. They decided that, to differentiate the business from others in the area, the name of the business would be known from then on as “Pykles Plumbing”.

The next significant thing to happen did in 1992. Craig’s family had been settled in La Mesa for a while and had established a good deal of roots since moving into their home on Moisan Way in 1971. They liked La Mesa and enjoyed things the way they were there. Wanting to do business a little closer to home and the community that his wife and kids associated with from day to day, Craig and his Team decided to move the business from University Ave. to the corner of Lake Murray Blvd. and Navajo Road.

On February 4th, 2000 Howard Kenneth Pykles passed away at the age of 88. The family gathered at Howard’s home on Summit Circle to pay their respects and remember the man they came to know and love as “Papa”.