RIVER EDGE, N.J.—He was an "officer" and always a gentleman.
When Jerry Boyle recently spoke with Tire Business about his long career in the tire industry, it still was with a fresh enthusiasm. Not what you might expect from someone who had been actively involved in the business for more than 50 years.
Despite his 78 years and failing health that prompted a long hospital stay, there was an eagerness in his voice. It crisply shone through as he prepared to "show up for work"—be it only for a couple hours—at Englewood Tire Distributors (ETD) Inc., the retail/wholesale dealership he founded and helped guide since the late 1940s.
Mr. Boyle, who answered to the moniker "The Captain," died July 11 in his River Edge home after a prolonged illness.
Forty years ago he received the captain designation from the U.S. Coast Guard after being licensed to navigate 100-ton vessels for hire.
As a former Air Force pilot fresh from the service in 1946, a 25-year-old Mr. Boyle was trying to decide what to do with his life when, on a lark, he went to buy a load of tires from someone in Hackensack, N.J., who was liquidating his tire business. The dealer so admired Mr. Boyle's chutzpah that he ended up giving him the tires—and ETD was born.
The Lyndhurst, N.J.-based company evolved from a strictly wholesale business to a dealership that also has nine ETD Discount Tire Centers retail stores. The Boyle family also operates a charter boat out of Brielle, N.J., for sightseeing and fishing excursions.
Besides his business endeavors, Mr. Boyle was a tournament pool, snooker and billiard champion, well-known in one of his favorite hang-outs for the past 40 years—the famous New York Athletic Club in Manhattan.
He attended Fordham Prep, Manhattan College, and graduated from Rutgers University with a business degree.
Mr. Boyle leaves his wife, Phyllis; sons: John, ETD's president; Skip, an ETD territory manager; and William; and seven grandchildren.