A Life Lived: Don Myers fixed the car problems of the everyday motorist

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Don Myers was an auto mechanic by trade. This meant grease under his fingernails, long days under the hood of a car, but the rewards were great — another car running and smiles from customers, some who became life-long friends.

Myers worked 35 years as an auto mechanic at Dixie Battery Co. in Elizabethton. The shop on N. Lynn Avenue lacked some of the bells and whistles of bigger garages, but it was the personal service given by people like Don Myers and its owners, Sonny Bill Mottern and his father, Sonny, that made the business special. Don did the big stuff as well as the small fixes and maintenance checkups, the stuff drivers need to keep their old faithfuls running.

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Don, who retired a few years ago from the car-fixing business, died April 16 at the age of 78.

He was raised on Blue Springs and lived most of his life there, before he and his wife moved to Elizabethton nine years ago. “Don enjoyed cars. He enjoyed driving them, fixing them, and he especially enjoyed car racing,” said his widow, Carol. He attended the NASCAR car races at Bristol and had attended a few at Daytona. His favorite driver was Bill Elliott. His favorite car? A Ford.

Carol said that Don in his younger days enjoyed motorcycle riding. “If it had a motor, it intrigued him,” she shared.

“Don was an outdoors person. We have camped everywhere from Florida, to South Carolina, to places along the Blue Ridge Parkway. He enjoyed being outside in the open air. Fishing was another sport he enjoyed. He fished a lot at Watauga Lake and in the Watauga River,” said Carol.

But, cars, they were both a hobby and his life’s work. “From the time he was young until he became too sick to tinker with them, he loved cars. He was good at what he did. He knew from the sound a car was making what was wrong with it,” Carol said.

She described her husband of 44 years as “quiet and kind. He never had an unkind word to say about anyone. If he did, he kept it to himself. He loved his family, especially his nieces and nephews,” she shared.

Carol said some of her fondest memories of Don were of him sitting on the back porch and watching the river. “No matter how hard the day or what the circumstances were, he found peace on that back porch, watching the river,” she said.

Don was a member of Carter Christian Church, and many of his friends at the church served as active and honorary pallbearers.

He spent the last days of his life at Signature Health Care.

His hands are now at rest. He no longer wonders why gears and wheels revolve, why cylinders go up and down. But we do know this: He blessed a lot of people in his life time by fixing their car problems and keeping their wheels rolling.