BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Aug. 30, 2000)—Paul J. Clark, founder and chairman of Kentucky Tire Exchange and past-president of the American Retreaders Association, now the International Tire and Rubber Association, died Aug. 5 at a Bowling Green hospital following a prolonged illness.
Mr. Clark, 84, was a charter member of the Central States Retreaders Association, forerunner of the American Retreaders Association (ARA), now known as the International Tire and Rubber Association. He had served on that group´s board of directors since the early 1960s and was a director emeritus until his death.
He was among the few retreaders present in 1957 when the Central States Retreaders Association agreed to sponsor the first Louisville Retreaders Conference, which took place the following year.
Mr. Clark served as ARA president from 1968-´78—the longest period anyone has occupied that elective office. He received the ARA´s Leadership Award in 1979.
A veteran of more than a half century in the tire business, Mr. Clark got his start in retreading prior to the outbreak of World War II and served in the U.S. Army´s retreading operations during that war.
Kentucky Tire Exchange, founded in 1947, is now run by Mr. Clark´s son, Mike Clark, also a member of the ITRA´s board of directors. Mike Clark´s daughter, Shae Shelton, and her husband, Lee, also work for the company.
Primarly a commercial tire dealership, Kentucky Tire Exchange closed its retread shop in 1997 and began outsourcing retreads after deciding that trucking industry consolidation made operating the plant impractical.
Survivors also include Mr. Clark´s wife, Margaret, two daughters, five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.