Dr. David Krympec, D.C., known by his patients as Dr. Dave, retired Dec. 2018. He started Key Center Chiropractic 33 years ago, with little money and a diploma from Sherman College of Chiropractic. He spent most of his time at the office, trying to build up a clientele from nothing. He went on to partner with neighboring dentist Dr. John Olsson and together they built the Key Center Corral.
“Those days were real lean,” Krympec said. “I lived in a crummy trailer down in Longbranch. Some of those cold winters back then, during power outages that lasted many days, I thought I might just die.”
Nate Hove grew up on the Key Peninsula, where his family lived on Creviston Road. He didn’t know it at the time, but his family chiropractor would do far more than give him chiropractic adjustments—he influenced the trajectory of Hove’s life.
“Dave gave me my first chiropractic adjustment; I must have been around six or seven years old,” Hove said. “My mother had been in a car accident and came to Dave for treatment.” Krympec ended up treating the whole family, grandparents too, and gave complimentary adjustments to the kids.
A wrestler throughout his school years, Hove suffered an injury as he moved from collegiate to freestyle wrestling. His opponent threw him overhead; he landed on his neck, suffered headaches for a week and went to see Dr. Dave. After a single adjustment, his headaches were gone.
“My junior year at Peninsula High School, I looked into chiropractic as a profession and Dave gave me a book back then,” Hove said. “Honestly, I never read it. But every time I moved my stuff I looked at it and thought this is where I want to go.”
At first Hove said he wanted to drop out of college altogether, feeling unprepared for the rigors of university life. His parents encouraged him to stick with it. He attended Whatcom Community College for a while and graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Sports. From there he went on to Palmer College of Chiropractic Medicine. After graduation, Hove signed on for three years at Gig Harbor Chiropractic and Massage.
Krympec said he thought Hove could be a good fit to take over his practice in Key Center someday, but it was still some time before he was ready to retire.
That was until a bad injury to his knee would prevent him from working for at least three months. Krympec had to refer his patients to another chiropractor friend. He recalled breaking his wrist once and being out for six weeks. “Your hands are your life as a chiropractor…you can’t afford to get hurt,” he said.
On the other side of the KC Corral one day, Hove was having his teeth cleaned at Dr. Olsson’s office. Olsson asked Hove if he’d heard about what happened to Dr. Dave and suggested he check to see if he could help. It turned into the perfect transition for both chiropractors.
“Being back out here—I really like the people,” Hove said.
Hove said he appreciates the time Krympec spends with patients to figure out what is causing the problem and systematically working through it.
“I like focusing on relationships; that’s what Dave has done here and what I will continue to do with my patients,” Hove said. The office however is being given a remodel, fresh paint, new equipment and the addition of in-house massage therapy. “I’m excited to make it my own.”
“Everything just came together,” Krympec said. Without his knee injury he may have continued working a few more years. “There is a reason for everything I guess. I mean, Dr. Olsson just happening to mention it to Nate while he was in the chair?”
Krympec said he is considering becoming a snowbird but added, “People keep telling me I’ll be busier than I ever was before retirement.”
UNDERWRITTEN BY NEWSMATCH/MIAMI FOUNDATION, THE ANGEL GUILD, ROTARY CLUB OF GIG HARBOR, ADVERTISERS, DONORS AND PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT LOCAL, INDEPENDENT NONPROFIT NEWS