PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.—Leonard K. Firestone, last surviving child of Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. founder Harvey S. Firestone Sr. and a former director of the company, died Dec. 24 in his Pebble Beach home. He was 89. Third son among six children of Harvey and Idabelle Firestone, Mr. Firestone joined his father's Akron-based tire manufacturing company as a salesman following graduation from Princeton University in 1931.
He was elected a director of the company in 1939 and named president of the Firestone Aviation Products Co. two years later.
In all, he ultimately was to serve nearly four decades as a member of the company's board before retiring in 1984.
He was president and general manager of Firestone Tire Co. of California from 1943 to 1970, stepping down as head of the company's California operations but continuing as a director of the parent company until 1974.
He was a financial supporter and personal confidant of Republican presidential candidates dating back to 1940.
Mr. Firestone was named United States ambassador to Belgium in 1974 and 1976 by former presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, respectively.
After Mr. Nixon resigned in 1974, Mr. Firestone continued to stay in touch with the former president and went on to serve as president of the Richard Nixon Foundation, financing the creation of a presidential library.
He served as a director of the National Council of Alcoholism and the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
As a tribute to his family, he and his late brother, Raymond C. Firestone, completed a relocation of their father's boyhood home and farm buildings from Columbiana, Ohio, to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich., in 1985. There, more than a million visitors annually tour the workings of the 19th century ``Firestone Farmstead.''
Survivors include his wife, Caroline; two sons; and one daughter.
Blazer, Julius W. Jr., 59, founder of Million Dollar Tire in Buffalo, N.Y., died Oct. 30;
Camp, Gilbert M. Sr., 89, co-founder of Melbourne Tire Co., Melbourne, Fla., died Oct. 2;
Chandler, James R. ``Rod,'' 69, owner of Rod's Tire Co., died Oct. 9;
Cox Swift, Brenda J., 49, co-owner of Washington Square Tire Group in Indianapolis, Ind., Sept. 20;
Hilton, John B., 74, founder of Hilton Enterprises, Montgomery, Ala., died Sept. 23;
Horianopoulos, George J., 55, co-owner of George Wholesale Tires in Port Richey, Fla., died Sept. 7;
Ivie, James Warren Sr., 76, founder of Ivie Tire Co. in Leaksville, N.C., died Nov. 27;
Johnson, Carl R., 71, owner of Carl's Tire Sales, Manor, Pa., died Oct. 22;
Kelner, Stanley J., 77, former owner of Kelner Tire Recapping Co. in Waltersburg, Pa., died Nov. 27;
Kisluk, Harry, 93, owner of Kansas City, Mo.-based Terminal Tire Co., died Sept. 12;
Lusby, Don, 85, founder of Pine Bluff, Ark.-based Don Lusby's Tire and Battery, died Oct. 19;
Montante, Angelo ``Andy'' P., 71, worked for family's Broad-Elm Tire & Service Centers for nearly 50 years, died Dec. 1.
Neville, John W., 62, co-owner of John's Tire and Supply in Fairmont, N.C., died Oct. 23;
Pons, Alton B., 62, owner of Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Chapel Hill Tire Co., died Dec. 3.
Repka, Raymond R., 82, former owner of Repka's Firestone in Lancaster, N.Y., and member of the national Firestone Dealer Council, died Oct. 19;
Sklar, Stephen, 53, former owner of M*&*M Tire Co. in
Lauderhill, Fla., died Nov. 24;
Smetzer, Ted, 77, owner of the former Ashland Tire in Ashland, Ohio, died Oct. 3;
Toscano, Marty, 68, founder of Crystal Lake Tire & Battery, Crystal Lake, Ill., and past president of the Illinois State Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association, died Sept. 30;
Watts, Ezra, 67, president of Diamond Tire, Plymouth, Mich., died Nov. 14;
Whitman, Frederick E., 73, former co-owner of Wimmer Tire Co. in Roanoke, Va., died Sept. 23.