CORONA, Calif — L.Z. "Pete" Fletcher, founder of Pete's Road Service in Fullerton, Calif., died Jan. 15 at age 94.
A native of Clinton, Okla., Mr. Fletcher founded the dealership that bears his name in January 1969 in Anaheim, taking over an abandoned Alamo gas station.
From that simple beginning, Mr. Fletcher built the company into a leading commercial dealership, with nine predominantly commercial service locations in and around Fullerton and one retread shop. The dealership is considered to be among the 40 largest commercial dealerships in North America with annual sales of over $50 million.
The family business added retreading in 1975 and converted that operation in 2019 to Marangoni Tread products and services from the Oliver Rubber system and products.
Mr. Fletcher moved to California with his family in the early 1930s during the Great Depression, where he and his family worked as itinerant farm workers picking cotton and oranges. He served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946, seeing duty as an infantry combat soldier in Northern Italy.
Mr. Fletcher drove truck for several years after the war, hauling citrus, lumber, and other items out of Orange County and more. He did his own repairs on the trucks and others would ask him to repair their trucks, family members report.
As that business grew, he started a mobile lube and repair service in Orange County, which led eventually to the founding of Pete's Road Service, which offered a range of mechanical, paint and body services, with tires being just a part of the work.
"Pete's was built on hard work, good service and good products that we stand behind," his family wrote. "Always striving to be a value to our customers and our suppliers with honesty, integrity and independence. The values of Pete survive him today with the third-generation owners, operators and management …"
Mr. Fletcher retired from day-to-day duties with the dealership in 1990
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Clara May (David), in 2002, and second wife, Linda, in 2018. He is survived by sons David, Jim and Glen.
Condolences can be shared at dignitymemoral.com. A memorial may be held at a later date.