ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C.-John W. Cross, inaugural president of the North Carolina Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association and founder of Bladen Tire Co. in Elizabethtown, died June 12 after suffering a stroke. He was 84. Mr. Cross opened Bladen Tire Co., a combination retail/commercial tire store and service shop, in 1950 and continued to work at the operation until the early 1990s, according to Bladen Tire President Roy Lomax.
Mr. Cross served as the first president of the NCTDRA in 1965 after helping organize the association and soliciting its early members.
In 1989, he actively participated in the association's 25th anniversary celebration, held in Winston-Salem.
Survivors include his wife, Catherine; daughter, Kay C. Dowless of Jacksonville, Fla.; and son, Jack Cross of Elizabethtown. Mr. Cross' children now own Bladen Tire.
J. Richard Stochl
ST. LOUIS-Joseph Richard ``Dick'' Stochl, a longtime member of the Missouri Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association and former co-owner of St. Louis-based Stochl Tire Inc. died May 18 after suffering a heart attack. He was 63.
In 1957, Mr. Stochl and his brother, Jim, took over Stochl Tire from their father, who had started the retail tire store as a gas station and BFGoodrich outlet in 1923. In 1956, the operation had been expanded to include a wholesale Texaco TBA (tires, batteries and accessories) operation.
Mr. Stochl expanded Stochl Tire to include several retail stores before he retired from the tire business in 1981, following a heart attack.
Survivors include his wife, Gail, and five children, including his son, Joe, who co-owns Stochl Tire with his uncle, Jim.