Elderly man surprised with act of kindness at Chapel Hill auto shop

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Elderly man surprised with act of kindness at Chapel Hill auto shop
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Theo Everett was moved after Pete Rozzell of Chapel Hill Tire helped him out when he needed it

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- An elderly man who lost nearly everything during Hurricane Matthew was surprised by a wonderful act of kindness when he went to get work done on an old car.

Theo Everett is a 94-year-old black man from Johnston County. He's a WWII vet who was denied food at a local cafe when he got home from the war while he was wearing his uniform due to the color of his skin.

He farmed the land his grandfather bought after emancipation and eventually worked his way up as a mechanic to own his own business in Princeton.

"It was a white man from New Jersey that hired me at the local garage," he said. "He gave me a chance and I worked my way all the way to the top."

Over the summer, Theo came to stay with his son and daughter in law in Chapel Hill. He was there when Hurricane Matthew hit. By the time he got back to his house in Princeton, it was totally under water.

All his farming and mechanic tools, several cars in the yard - all destroyed. A lifetime of memories ruined.

He did have a few clothes with him at his son's house and an old car. So he took the car to Chapel Hill Tire in the Cole Park Plaza on US 15-501 to get a new tire. When manager Pete Rozzell saw Theo's vehicle and told him all the work it needed, Theo told him he could only get the tire because of his losses from Matthew.

So Rozzell gave Theo a tire, rotated his tires, changed his oil, and replaced his windshield wipers. Everything he saw the car needed, he gave to him for free. Theo was so moved, he cried.

Theo Everett, a 94-year-old WWII vet, was given full service on his car for free at Chapel Hill Tire

The employees of Chapel Hill Tire took up a donation and bought Theo new clothes and other necessities. And now, Theo and Pete are becoming friends.

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