ATLANTA-Herbert I. Gordy, founder of Atlanta-based Gordy Tire Co. Inc., died Oct. 23 in Atlanta's Piedmont Hospital. He was 89. From a humble beginning selling tires from a small gas station, Mr. Gordy built his business into one of the largest independent retail/commercial tire dealerships in the country.
In its heyday, Gordy Tire sold passenger tires and ran a thriving commercial business that specialized in retreading and servicing off-road tires and recapping aircraft tires.
A native of Thomaston, Ga., Mr. Gordy, came to Atlanta in 1927 after working in Florida with his brother, Frank, selling real estate.
Attorney Randolph W. Thrower, a longtime friend and executor of Mr. Gordy's estate, said Mr. Gordy acquired a small tire repair and filling outlet where his ``stock in trade was reliability and honesty.''
``If a customer had a problem, it was his problem, especially in extending credit. Consequently, he had some very loyal customers,'' Mr. Thrower said.
He recalled an instance where an Atlanta construction firm just starting out in business was ``struggling, teetering on the edge.'' The firm couldn't pay a bill for some $15,000 in tires it had purchased, so Mr. Gordy carried the debt for more than six years. Even after the company was on solid footing, Mr. Gordy refused to accept any interest on the long-overdue payment.
In 1967 Mr. Gordy sold his retread plants and two retail/com-mercial outlets to B.F. Goodrich, and retired to his cattle ranch.
Survivors include two sisters.
NEW ORLEANS-Fred Lee Simmons, 65, executive director of the Arkansas Independent Tire Dealers Association, died of a heart attack Oct. 14, in a New Orleans hotel while attending
the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association convention and trade show.
Mr. Simmons, a resident of Jonesboro, Ark., had served as the AITDA's administrator for eight years and previously had worked six years as a field representative for the association.
``It was through his leadership, promotion, networking and lobbying that our association has become so successful,'' said AITDA Secretary/Treasurer Ron Blackburn.
Mr. Simmons had retired in March as a salesman for McGee Co. of Denver and previously had worked as a field sales representative for J.A. Peterson Co. of Fenton, Mo.
Survivors include his wife, Betty; three sons; three daughters; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
PEABODY, Mass.-Alec W. Niconchuk, 77, developer of the tubeless tire repair, died Oct. 27.
He was born in Peabody and began his career with W.R. Grace, Cambridge and United Shoe Machine Corp. in Beverly, Mass. The tubeless tire repair was among the patents he held.
In 1964 he founded and was president of the North Shore Laboratories in Peabody.
Survivors include his wife, Helen; three sons; five daughters; and 14 grandchildren.
WASHINGTON-Lester P. Lamm, 61, former official of both the Federal Highway Administration and the Highway Users Federation, died of a heart attack Nov. 1.
Mr. Lamm joined the FHWA in 1957. He became executive director, the agency's highest career post, in 1973, and deputy administrator in 1982.
In 1986, Mr. Lamm left the FHWA to become president of the Highway Users Federation, a position he held until earlier this year. He also was a founder and president of the Intelligent Vehicle Society of America.