AKRON-Frederick J. Kovac, a former vice president of Goodyear's tire development, died in Akron on Oct. 27. He was 66. Mr. Kovac retired June 3, 1995, after 39 years with Goodyear, the last 12 of which he spent as vice president of tire development responsible for both original equipment and replacement tires.
``Fred was the ultimate showman,'' said Joe Gingo, Goodyear vice president for the Asian region, who saw many of Mr. Kovac's accomplishments up close. ``You must sell management on technology, convincing them that it's critical to the company.''
Mr. Kovac joined Goodyear in 1956 and was named manager of tire reinforcing systems in 1966. In 1975, he handled strategic store planning and dealer development. He later was transferred to Luxembourg and served three years as director of the Goodyear International Tire Technical Center before returning to Akron.
Survivors include his wife, Ellen; two sons; three sisters and three brothers, including Harvey Kovac of Kovac Automotive in Weston and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
ASHLAND, Neb.-Jerry Minnick, who turned down a contract with the Washington Redskins and eventually owned his own tire shop, died in Aug. 2. He was 63.
He was an offensive and defensive tackle for the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the early 1950s. In 1953 he turned down Redskins contract and entered the U.S. Air Force.
In 1984, after working sales for a number of firms, including Goodyear, he bought Jerry's Tire and Service in Ashland, which he owned until his retirement in 1995.
Survivors include his wife, Lois, and four sons.