Wayne’s Service Center in Normandy Park Celebrates 50th Year Anniversary with party
By Michele Smith
In 1965, there were seven service stations within a block of each other in the Manhattan area of Normandy Park and Wayne Roush’s Mobile Service Center was one of them. Wayne was in his early 20’s when he began a 50-year career and family business.
“I’m not sure I would do it again”, Wayne said last week. “It is hard work, lots of long hours away from family but my German and Irish heritage of stubbornness and perseverance kept me going.” Over the years, the oil companies would change their policies making it more difficult for the small gas and service stations to survive. “They squeezed five of the seven out” he said, “The big companies came in and the others just quit. There’s not a lot of profit.” But Wayne said his drive comes from the ability to provide his community with a service. For Wayne, it’s not just all about the money.
Wayne owns both lots his full-service auto repair shop, gas station and food mart sit on. It’s become a family business and three of his four children work there with him. “You just can’t do it all by yourself.” He said. Although Wayne is not full-time anymore at age 78, he still does order the gas and tries to make an appearance as often as he can. Wayne talked about the many Corvette project cars he has. With a big smile, he said how grateful he is to all of the loyal customers over the years. A twinge of sadness fills his eyes when he talks about how many have passed on, but he lights up again as he shows the countless pictures of Little League teams he and his family business sponsor. His sense of community runs deep, after 50 years of witnessing 20+ businesses including Manhattan Drug, Elmer’s TV to the Burien Ice Chalet come and go, his motto was always “Making every customer feel like family.”
Celebrate with Wayne and his family on July 10, Noon to 4 p.m. Some of the family’s classic cars will be on display. 18032 1st Ave South Burien, 98148 206-243-1970 http://wayneschevron.com/