Cheney Free Press -


Ronnie Van Knowe: Life is much more than tires for Cheney's Auto Services Plus manager


Kelsey Lavelle

Ronnie Van Knowe balances tuning cars with making melodic tunes on his guitar after work.



Do you know Ronnie Van Knowe at Auto Services Plus? My car got well acquainted with him when he gave it a cold shower recently. You know how cars are. They seem to enjoy splashing though puddles, bouncing over pot holes, pointing right at the sun while you squint, wondering where the road is. I figured my car could use a cold shower to remind it who's behind the wheel.

Ronnie does a lot of other things besides punishing headstrong cars. He's a busy man at Auto Services Plus. They handle complete auto repair, detailing and small engine repair and occasionally remove a mouse from under some car's hood. Not mine, thank goodness.

Ronnie used to live in Massachussets. There he worked in the plastics industry. He traveled west and caught a glimpse of lovely Eastern Washington. His wife Donna Rae was already a citizen of this area.

"Now," Ronnie said," I've been 20 years in the auto business." He worked eight years in Spokane's Perfection Tire before coming to Cheney.

Life isn't all tires and cars. Ronnie likes to play hockey with his sons, rides a mean bicycle and does lots of fishing. "I fish every where," he said, adding, "I like Lake Roosevelt."

Music is one of Ronnie's talents. He and his brother-in-law Steve, and two of Ronnie's sons, Jacob and Jason, have played guitar and sung for four years in their own Christian rock band. They call it "Like Father Like Son." They compose their own music. "We're the new Partridge Family," he said.

Last year they performed at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center. They have played at other towns, the Salvation Army and youth groups. They have a CD and T-shirts available for the public enjoyment.

Middle son, Justin, is busy with other endeavors. Donna Rae sings at home. Wait a minute, we haven't told you about the youngest member of the band. He's Ronnie's seven-year-old grandson, Faico. He climbs onto the stage and sings with the rest of them. That's an idea for a good picture. Get your camera ready.

Ronnie Van Knowe approaches a challenge every day with something different that needs fixing. "I like working on cars and being able to help people." he said. Those fingers that strum a guitar are often acquainted with oil and grease and dirt. His good friend David Bierley, is nearby to give a helping hand.

In the blink of an eye we see someone coming with a chain saw that needs help. Right behind him is a man pulling a lawn mower out of the back of his pickup. Ronnie Van Knowe will be busy today. See you later, Ronnie.

Luella Dow is a Cheney-area author. She can be reached at


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