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Linwood Automotive treats 'customers as a family because they are'

Cary Ashby • May 3, 2017 at 7:09 PM

Jeff Lodermeier, owner of Linwood Automotive, believes in the importance of treating his customers like family.

Linwood Automotive, 32 S. Linwood Ave., celebrated its 55th year in business Monday.

“We are family owned with family values. I treat all of my customers as a family because they are,” said Lodermeier, a St. Paul High School graduate.

The car-care business is at the intersection of Linwood Avenuue and East Seminary Street in Norwalk. That’s the same location it has had since the original owner, Leon Lodermeier, opened it May 1, 1962 as Lodermeier’s Linwood Garage, Inc.

“He passed away three years ago,” said his son, Jeff Lodermeier, of Norwalk.

His father made sure that Linwood Automotive gives discounts to veterans and senior citizens.

“It’s not just the children (of veterans); it’s the grandchildren too,” Lodermeier said.

Linwood Automotive continued the tradition of being a family-run business when Lodermeier worked with his older brother, who retired a couple years ago. 

“Jack was the technician on the floor and I ran the daily operations,” Lodermeier said. 

In 1971, Jack started working full-time as a mechanic.

“Now I totally count on Jack’s support and the rest of the family,” Lodermeier said. “With Jack gone, I now have a great supporting staff with Gary (Hamilton) and Mitchul (Gerstenberger).”

Lodermeier, 58, has worked at the family business for 40 years.

“It’s been a great place to raise a family,” he said, referring to Norwalk.

Lodermeier and his wife Josie have three adult children. Brian, of Norwalk, is an accountant in Toledo. Bethany Koch, also of Norwalk, is a speech pathologist with Bellevue City Schools. Kyle is an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Michigan.

“My wife is a retired speech pathologist,” Lodermeier said.

“It’s important to us because all family-owned businesses look out for each other,” he added.

“I want to thank my dad and brother. My brother and I have built a very loyal clientele and the torch has been passed to me.” 

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