Wayne Schwartz, a graduate of Dighton High School Class of 1977 and son of Nila Schwartz and the late Richard Schwartz of Alamota, is celebrating 20 Years in business as owner of Schwartz Auto Service in Jetmore on May 1.
While the COVID-19 situation has canceled any celebrations, Schwartz is grateful for 20 years in the ever-changing automotive industry while serving the people of southwest Kansas.
After high school, Schwartz continued to help his family with their farming operation while attending Seward County Community College where he graduated with a degree in Automotive Technology.
He then began his automotive career in Dodge City before joining the Hodgeman County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy. He later transitioned back to agricultural and diesel automotive work before starting Schwartz Auto Service in 2000 as an independent automotive repair facility with his wife Vicki and son Tom in Jetmore.
In 2009, Wayne moved his service and repair business to Main Street in Jetmore.
The building at 221 North Main, was constructed in 1940 and previously housed service stations and a laundromat. After Vicki died from cancer in 2013, Schwartz continued managing Schwartz Auto with one other full-time mechanic and part-time mechanics providing service and repairs for the community and agriculture industry from the one-bay shop.
In 2015, Schwartz began working on a plan to build a shop with additional bays for vehicles, trucks, and farm equipment. He added a 6-bay service and repair facility to the former one-bay service station on Main Street in 2016.
With support from friends in the community who helped procure building materials, he and his wife Kelly also renovated the original, historical shop building to an office in 2018.
Schwartz currently employs three full-time mechanics: Zachary Hendrixson, Jacob Ewy, and Rusty Farr, and his wife Kelly O’Brien Schwartz who is co-owner and office manager.
He is a certified Jasper Engines and Transmissions installer, a certified Technet Professional with CarQuest/Advance Auto Parts, an ASE Certified Master Mechanic, as well as a CENEX and Interstate Batteries dealer.
With 120-plus years of family farming roots in Lane County, Schwartz credits his father Richard Schwartz and grandfather Victor Schwartz of Alamota with providing a solid foundation for his interest in agricultural and automotive technology.
“Growing up on the farm and doing everything ourselves helped me learn skills I use everyday to solve vehicle and equipment issues," Schwartz said. "I am grateful to my family, friends, and people of Southwest Kansas who believe in me and have supported me in my work here for 20 years.
"God has blessed me with a passion for automotive and agriculture equipment service and repair, and I look forward to helping people in the years to come.
"Thank you to our customers, community, family, and friends for 20 years of business.”