As a part-time sheriff’s deputy dating back to the days before the 2003 chemical train derailment in Tamaroa, his skills at handling both people and situations is unprecedented.
His family and staff come first.
And, as the next generation of George family members--his sons--roll into the twin paint booths in the back shop he embraces the future.
That includes investing over $80,000 in a state-of-the-art wrecker that fully sets the shop up as a 24-hour towing service.
He’s not afraid of “real work.” He goes out into the sleet and snow to help anyone and everyone and raises the bar on his profession by continuing to put a ”lifetime guarantee” on every gleaming collision repair that is rolled out of the shop and parked alongside the office for pickup.
At age 54 Ray and wife Janet, who fully shares in raising a family and making the household and business decisions, recently completed construction of their new home west of Tamaroa.
Instead of trying to micro-manage builder Terry Marks’ he often turned to wife Janet and turned to Marks and asked “How would you do it. Then, you do it that way.”
He puts that same kind of trust in his two sons, Brandon and Bryant, who operate the shop. He knows there will never come a time when he feels like walking away from the work--but he knows that he could because of the staff that he has.
“Brandon and Bryant operate it (the shop). I’ve got Josh Melton who does estimating and painting. Agnes George is the office manager and secretary. There’s technicians Bobby Crain, utility man Richard Kurtz, technician and Jamey Stevenson and Kyle Brocaille, who the staff admits catches anything they didn’t and is willing to shoulder any responsibility that he is given.
They are surrounded by an inviting office, two frame machines in the back shop, cars lined up with hoods raised high in various stages of collision reconstruction, two paint booths and three automotive paint companies the shop represents--Sikkens, PPG (Pittsburgh Paint & Glass) and Spies Hecker.
Every day, the goal is to restore vehicles that have been involved in accidents or struck by deer to the same specifications they had when it came out of the factory.
The work is painstaking and nerve-racking.
But, the outcomes are stunning.
It’s the Ray’s Auto Body way.
It’s all about finding that “exact match”--whether it’s in a paint booth or in life.
And, Ray George has an uncanny knack for always finding it.
We would like to thank www.duquoin.com for allowing us to reprint their article.