Waxahachie auto shop owner celebrates 40 years in community

Pete Anderson devotes time helping others in need

Chris Roark
Waxahachie Daily Light

For 40 years, Pete Anderson has been a staple in the Waxahachie and Red Oak communities, providing residents with the tire and automotive services they need.

Pete’s Tire and Automotive Service began as a whitewall business for tires but has turned into a full-service auto repair business. His long-standing business has helped Anderson build a positive reputation in the community. He was recently honored by the Waxahachie and Red Oak Chamber of Commerce for his four decades in the community.

Members of the Waxahachie and Red Oak Chamber of Commerce celebrate 40 years of Pete's Tire and Automotive.

What’s the key to that type of success? Treating the customers right, he said.

“Just treat others the way you want to be treated,” Anderson said.

Anderson’s giving nature can be traced back to his youth. Anderson and his family moved to Red Oak when he was in the eighth grade. At 14, he began working at a convenience store called Tote A Way, which was run by N.L. Dickinson.

Anderson said Dickinson was his mentor, and he displayed consistency, worked hard, lived by the Golden Rule and had integrity. Anderson credits those same attributes to the success of his own business for all these years.

Anderson has run Pete’s Automotive since 1980. It’s been at the current location, 3704 N. Highway 77 in Waxahachie, for 35 years.

In the beginning, the company focused on whitewalling tires, which was a popular attraction for tires beginning in the early 1900s. Over the years, the width of the white wall got more narrow on the tire.

Once whitewalling was phased out, Anderson’s company’s shifted its focus.

Pete Anderson

“Maybe if we could work on vehicles while we white wall their tires, we could grow,” he said.

Today, Pete’s Automotive provides tire installation and wheel alignments, as well as oil changes, brake repair, battery exchange, A/C repair, state inspections and even RV and diesel repair.

But his service extends far beyond the repair shop.

Anderson has been a member of the local Lions Club for 15 years, where he has served as president multiple times and has won pretty much every award the organization hands out.

“A good friend of mine had a father who was a Lion, and he asked me to go to a meeting one time,” Anderson said. “I liked it, and I knew most of the people there.”

The Lions Club provides service to the community throughout the year, but one effort that has been especially meaningful to Anderson is the club’s Lion Sight and Tissue Foundation. The foundation helps the youth in District 2-X1, which encompasses Ellis, Dallas, Hunt, Rockwall, Kaufman and parts of Collin counties, by providing free eye exams to students and glasses to qualifying students at no charge.

Each week, Anderson will drive a school bus, which he maintains at his shop, to various locations in District 2-X1 so the foundation can perform the free eye clinics.

The club donates the money for the glasses to those who need them.

“For the money spent, it does a lot of good,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the organization helped 17 students in Red Oak recently, and there will be another clinic in the area in December where he expects 60 to 70 students to benefit.

“Our motto is ‘We Serve,’” Anderson said. “When the Lion’s Club started, Helen Keller asked that we be the sight for the blind. Schools will do the pre-screening, and there are a lot of students who have blurred vision. So after we give the eye exams, we’ll give them glasses. A lot of parents don’t have the money for that.”

The Lions Club helps the community in other ways throughout the year, such as donating money to the local food banks and helping school and police organizations with various efforts.

Outside of the Lions Club, Anderson also finds a local senior citizen who needs help by providing transportation or simply checking in.