BLOOMINGTON, Ill.-Vernon B. Trower, 67, retired owner of Clay Dooley Auto Service in Bloomington, died April 16 from complications during open-heart surgery at St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington. Mr. Trower began his career as a tire changer and worked for Clay Dooley Tire for 48 years. When owner Clay Dooley died in 1968, Mr. Trower and George Davis bought the one-outlet dealership and later, upon Mr. Davis' death in 1979, Mr. Trower became sole owner.
Mr. Trower officially retired from the business in 1993 but remained active at the dealership, which opened a second location in Bloomington in 1985.
He served as president of the Illinois State Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association in 1974 and was a member of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association.
His son, Brian, is company president and president-elect of the ISTDRA, and Mr. Trower's other sons, David and Steven, and a daughter, Ruth, all work at the dealership.
Other survivors include his wife, Mary Jane; daughters, Jane, Susan and Barbara; and 12 grandchildren.