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Wyanet Body Shop has new owner

Smith, longtime employee, buys business

Published: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 2:23 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 2:43 p.m. CDT
(BCR photo/Lyle Ganther)
Tom Smith (center) is the new owner of Wyanet Body Shop. He took over running the business that was started in the late 1950s by Wilson Hetherington, father of the former owner, Steve "Motor" Hetherington. Smith has worked at the business for 28 years. Other employees of the business are Ron Starr (left), who has worked there 32 years and Kyle Estes (right) who has worked there for five years.

WYANET — A longtime employee of the Wyanet Body Shop is the new owner of the business.

Tom Smith, who has worked there for 28 years, became the new owner after taking over from Steve “Motor” Hetherington, who had been the owner since 1984.

Hetherington’s father, Wilson, started the business in the late 1950s in another location in Wyanet before eventually moving it to the current location at 107 S. West St. in Wyanet in the early 1970s.

Smith, who started prepping parts and cleaning cars, wants to continue offering quality work that is guaranteed at the business.

“We will offer minor rust repair by cutting the rusty parts out and replacing it rather than patching or using Bondo on it,” he said.

Smith decided to take over ownership of the business because the flexibility of the job allows him to help his wife, Jill, with their two special needs children or going to doctor’s appointments if needed.

Wyanet Body Shop’s main work is insurance by repairing damage to vehicles caused by accidents and deer hits.

“We average 6-12 cars a week during our busy times,” he added. Smith would also like to paint tractors at his shop.

Other employees of the shop are Ron Starr, who has been there 32 years, and Kyle Estes, who has five years of experience.

Mary “Fritz” Hetherington is still the secretary of Wyanet Body Shop while “Motor” still works several hours a day doing office work for Smith.

“We are doing the same quality work with the same people,” added Smith. “Nothing changes, just a change of ownership.”

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