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Rizzardi's celebrates more than 35 years in Jeannette

| Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:04 p.m.
Margie Stanislaw | The Jeannette Spirit
Rizzardi's in West Jeannette is always busy.
Margie Stanislaw | The Jeannette Spirit
Jerry Rizzardi, smiling in his garage on Orange Avenue, has been in business for more than three decades.

Even though Rizzardi's Body and Fender is in a secluded location on the west side of town, Jerry Rizzardi has been operating a very lucrative business for 35 years.

Rizzardi started the business in 1977 and was located on Columbia Court for the next nine years. In 1986, he purchased Rinaldi Brothers and combined the two businesses at 20 Orange Ave. and he remains there to this day.

Although the name, Rizzardi's Body and Fender, might indicate to prospective customers that the business is strictly an auto body repair shop, Rizzardi's Body and Fender is actually a full auto care shop. Not only does Rizzardi do body work, but he and his employees also do other auto repairs, state inspections and emissions and they sell tires. Rizzardi also works with insurance companies regarding accident claims.

Customers come from “Jeannette and the surrounding areas, Hempfield, Penn Township and North Huntingdon,” said Rizzardi. “And are pretty much generation after generation. We stay pretty busy here, believe it or not.”

Rizzardi was born and raised in Jeannette and graduated from Jeannette High School. Today he lives in Unity Township. He has two children, both college graduates, who worked in the business while growing up. His daughter Mary, 24, works as a music teacher in Cincinnati and actually ran the business for her dad one summer during college when her dad took a three-week motorcycle trip.

Rizzardi's son Andrew, 30, lives in New York City. Andrew graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., with a master's degree in international politics. He works as a human rights advocate.

In addition to spending time with his children, Rizzardi likes to fish, hunt and ride his motorcycles. He also has several antique cars.

Rizzardi has two employees and all three workers at the shop have participated in continuing education through Transtar and the Automotive Service Association.

Rizzardi's Body and Fender is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached at 724-523-8484.

Margie Stanislaw is a freelance writer.

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