SANTA FE, N.M.-Gordon A. Marker, a pioneer in the tires-to-energy industry, died Sept. 27 when his single-engine airplane crashed into Lake Erie en route to New Hampshire. He was 62. His tragic death was befitting of the man who ``was always active'' and ``a cowboy his whole life,'' said Achievor Tire L.P. President Andrew Brodner, one of Mr. Marker's friends and former bosses.
Mr. Marker joined Oxford Energy in 1985 as an executive vice president. The company went on to build the nation's first whole-tire burning power plant in Westley, Calif., in 1985, said Mr. Brodner, who co-founded the firm in 1984. That plant began production in 1987. Two years later, Oxford Energy built its second plant in Sterling, Conn. Mr. Marker and Oxford Energy were presented the U.S. Government Award for Energy Innovation in 1988.
Mr. Marker went on to form TransEnergy Inc. to promote alternative energy sources on an international basis. In 1990 he helped Elm Energy build England's first tire-burning power operation.
``He was a very innovative and energetic man who I think helped really shape (the) industry of turning tires into other products instead of just throwing them in a landfill,'' Mr. Brodner said.
Survivors include Mr. Marker's wife, Mary; a daughter and four adopted sons.
Robert Ritter Jr.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Robert Wallace Ritter Jr., President of Easy Pay Tire Store Inc., died Sept. 20 of cancer in Baptist Hospital in Nashville. He was 63.
Mr. Ritter, the son of National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association past president, the late Robert Wallace Ritter Sr., began his tire industry career at Easy Pay Tire, the Goodyear dealership and retread shop his father started in Lewisburg, Tenn., in 1945. He eventually became president of the company, a position he held until his death.
Mr. Ritter was a member of the NTDRA and the Tennessee Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association.
Survivors include his wife, June; one daughter; and one son.
BOCA RATON, Fla.-Abraham ``Al'' Hansel, 79, co-founder of Bronx, N.Y.-based Hansel Tire, died Nov. 7 of stroke complications in Boca Raton.
Mr. Hansel began his tire industry career in 1931 as a tire changer with Eagle Tire Co. in Manhattan, N.Y. He advanced to become a store manager with Eagle Tire before leaving the company in 1959 to open Lieben-Hansel Tire, a single-outlet retail operation, with George Liben. The company became Hansel Tire Corp. when Mr. Liben retired in 1986.
Though remaining a partner, Mr. Hansel moved to Florida in 1989, turning over operations to his son, George ``Jay'' Hansel.
Survivors include his wife, Mathilda ``Matty;'' one daughter; son Jay; and two grandsons, including Michael, Hansel Tire sales manager.