Slain Fayetteville business owner’s family keeps his spirit alive

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s been more than seven months since a beloved Fayetteville car wash owner was killed.

Mike Mansfield, 52, was beaten to death outside a Fayetteville bar right down the street from his business, police said. He was known for the care and compassion he showed less-fortunate members of the community.

RELATED: Hundreds to pay respects for Fayetteville businessman beaten to death

Two men remain in custody in connection with Mansfield’s death.

Mansfield’s family has worked since his death to continue his legacy.


Workers say the last several months have been rocky at the car wash.

But now, Mansfield’s legacy remains alive not just at this location, but also at a new car wash business.

With a new sign and new name, Big Mike’s Car Wash intends to carry out the loving, compassionate and hard-working nature of Mansfield.

“I’ve seen a homeless guy walk through here with no shoes on and Mike pulled him to the side and asked him what size he wore,” said Waymon Gainey with the car wash. “Mike actually gave him the shoes off his feet.”

Hubert Underwood, 37, and Stephen Rosser, 26, face first-degree murder charges in Mansfield’s death.

Police say surveillance video captured the brutal beating attack against Mansfield outside this 301 Wingz restaurant on Sept. 4.

For almost two decades, Mansfield was known for hiring ex-offenders when no one else would.
Behind the car wash, he provided space to feed the homeless and to host daily prayer services.

“He always would say keep Jesus first in your life, the customer is always right,” said Mansfield’s long-time coworker, Fred Smith. “He’s dead and gone, but we still wash cars the way he taught us to.”

Mansfield’s mother and brother now oversee the Eastern Avenue location.

But on Ramsey Street, another car wash carries the Mansfield spirit

Matt Mansfield and his brother opened “Wash Me” about a month ago.

“Just dealing with my dad’s death, it’s kind of difficult, but … I’m starting this new business,” said Matt Mansfield.

Wash Me is located directly across from the VA hospital.

Mansfield’s sons say they look to support veterans more and host various community events as Mansfield did.

The case is still pending review by the district attorney.

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