Trail Tire’s head mechanic Walter Gedaschke first attended post-secondary school to become a gas fitter, but his real calling soon led him to pursue training in the auto repair industry.
“I’ve always had a passion for cars and trucks – including hot rods and classic cars,” Gedaschke says.
Born in Vernon and raised in nearby Cherryville, Gedaschke graduated from Charles Bloom Secondary School in Lumby, before heading to Edmonton’s Northern Alberta Institute of Technology for his gas fitting ticket.
Gedaschke then returned to Vernon and attended Okanagan University College, where he trained for his career of choice as a journeyman mechanic, and in 2001 he joined Trail Tire as head mechanic.
Gedaschke spends some of his leisure time golfing and fishing, but as a family man – he has four children and six grand children (three girls and three boys, ages 6 to 16) – he loves to go camping with his family at nearby Sugar Lake and Arrow Lakes.
“Our daughter Kimberly is a local Vernon realtor,” says proud father Gedaschke. “And Guy is an auto tech in Red Deer, Caty is assistant manager and head floral designer at a downtown Vernon flower and gift shop, and Lena is the head safety coordinator for a large construction company in Red Deer.”
Asked about his time at Trail Tire – approaching their 55th anniversary next year – and what’s kept him there for so long, Gedaschke says there was a family connection from the start, but also speaks of the values the owners carry forward until today.
“When I first started working at Trail Tire, my wife Brenda’s cousins owned the Lumby store,” Gedaschke says. “My local connections, and the fact that to me integrity is foremost, have been essential in building our customer loyalty and trust.”
“I also like that they show a lot of community involvement and local support – they give back to the community and support other local businesses.”
He’s also quick to mention that the day-to-day interactions with Trail Tire’s clients are a big part of the reason he is still there today.
“Dealing with our local customers is my favourite part of a day working here!”
As the team at Vernon’s Trail Tire approaches their 55th anniversary, this feature series highlights the many longstanding local team members. Watch for a new story each week!