David Fooy, the genial owner of Scooter D’s Restaurant for nearly a quarter of a century, has fond memories of growing up and going to school in Parchment.
Those memories, from the 1960s, include stopping at the restaurant, at 724 Shoppers Lane in Parchment, that he would later purchase.
“At that time it was called Mike and Joyce’s,” recalls Fooy, who graduated from Parchment in 1968.
A lot happened in Fooy’s life during the almost-30 years between high school and when he and a business partner bought the restaurant, which was then called Dick and Sil’s, from Dick and Silvia Caldwell.
He and his partner, Scott DeBruyn, renamed it Scooter D’s. DeBruyn retired several year ago, but Fooy remained a fixture at the restaurant until it closed at the end of last August.
“Sad to say it was the result of the pandemic,” he says of the decision to cease operations.
By that time, Fooy, 70, had moved to a secondary role at the restaurant, assisting his daughter, Carrie Klinger, of Richland, who succeeded him as manager. “I retired five years ago,” he says, “but I continued to help out at the restaurant.”
That left him with more time to catch up with the local news from customers, mostly regulars who enjoyed the conversations as well as the breakfasts and lunches that Fooy and his staff served up.
Fooy had been hoping to sell the restaurant, but had no success, so it was with regret that he and his daughter closed the doors for the last time on Aug. 31.
“Our whole goal was to keep a restaurant there for the community,” he says. “I hated to see it go because it was a part of the community for so long and the community was wonderful to me.”
“I was there for 23 years,” he says. “I think I’ve had it the longest of anybody.”
After graduating from high school, Fooy went to Kalamazoo Valley Community College, where he earned an associate’s degree in broadcasting.
“I went to KVCC for two years out of high school, got drafted into the military, and spent 13 months in Vietnam,” he says.
He then returned to his wife, Chrys, whom he married before he went to Vietnam, and enrolled in the pharmacy program at Ferris State University.
Earning a living to support his growing family became a priority, however, so he ended his studies and he and Chrys moved to Comstock, her hometown.
“We lived in Comstock most of our adult life when the kids were growing up,” he says.
Thirteen years ago they moved to Cooper Township, bringing him back into the Parchment School District.
The Fooys celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year. They have two married children — Klinger and Fooy’s namesake, David, of Oshtemo Township — and six grandchildren.
Ownership of Scooter D’s was the second of two long-term jobs Fooy has held.
“I spent … 23 to 25 years in the beverage industry in sales and delivery until we bought the restaurant in 1997,” he says.
He also has been engaged in community activities. At one time he was on the Parchment Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, which is now defunct, and he currently is a member of the Cooper Township Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.
In addition, he is a member of the Comstock VFW honor guard, serving at funerals for veterans, and plans to get more involved in a similar program at Fort Custer National Cemetery.
Fooy, the oldest of four siblings, has pleasant memories of growing up in Parchment’s Northwood neighborhood and attending local schools.
“School was so much different back then than it is today,” he says, pointing out that there was more of a social aspect to school, and participating in sports was a significant part of it.
Fooy was on the football and baseball teams.
One faculty member, in particular, left a lasting impression on him and others.
“Jim Strehlow was probably the one who had the most effect on my life; he was a teacher who would understand and listen to you,” Fooy says.
At the time, he says, he didn’t realize Strehlow’s influence on his life, but as the years passed it became evident to him.
“I think after I matured a little bit … I realized what an effect he had on me by the way he treated people.”
Fooy's classmates, too, “really liked to go to him when they had an issue. He was an effective person who really had a feel for students.”
Fooy is entering a new phase of his life now and weighing his options as to what that will encompass.
It may take a while for him to take action, though. Currently, he is hunkering down until the coronavirus eases up and “trying to figure out what retirement is all about.