E.B. Beasley Sr.
HOUSTON—E.B. "Bob" Beasley Sr., founder of Houston-based Beasley Tire Co. and a charter member of the Texas Tire Dealers Association, died March 14. He was 74.
Honored as "dealer of the year" by the Texas association in 2000, Mr. Beasley was widely known in the industry and a longtime board member of the Tire Association of North America.
After 20 years in the trucking industry, including eight years with Ryder System Inc., he launched Beasley Tire in 1968, working out of a former Exxon station with one service truck.
Specializing in fast road service, he built the family owned and operated dealership into a strong commercial and industrial tire operation with two retail stores.
Until his death, he had continued to be involved in the business, now run by his sons, Bob and David. A third son, E.B. Beasley Jr., is not active in the business.
In addition to his sons, Mr. Beasley is survived by his wife of 50 years, Bobbie, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
H. Manuel Dobrusin
BRIGHTON, Mass.—H. Manuel "Manny" Dobrusin, 79, former executive director of the New England Association of Independent Tire Dealers, died March 16.
Mr. Dobrusin served as executive director for the New England group, now called the New England Tire and Service Association, from 1982-1991. He also wrote many articles on publicity and public relations for tire and glass association publications.
He taught at both the high school and university levels from 1943-1949. From 1951-1953, Mr. Dobrusin served as executive director of the Leominster-Gardner Taxpayers Administration.
Mr. Dobrusin also served as a financial investment executive before starting Charlbert Associates, a public relations firm, in 1978.
He is survived by his wife, Gertrude, two sons, a brother and five grandchildren.
William Smithett Jr.
SPENCER, Ohio—William Smithett Jr., 72, a well-known tire dealer for some 30 years in the Cleveland area, died Jan. 21.
After managing several Goodyear company stores in the area, Mr. Smithett became a partner in Spencer Tire in 1960 and took over as owner in 1974.
Jim Braddock, who purchased the dealership after Mr. Smithett retired five years ago, said Mr. Smithett was well-respected in the tire industry, adding that he enjoyed stopping by the store on Fridays after he retired.
Mr. Smithett's son, Tommy, said his father "was a very fair and very honest man. Customers loved him."
Mr. Smithett belonged to a number of organizations, including the Tire Association of North America's predecessor, the National Tire Dealers Retreaders Association.
He leaves a daughter, two sons, his mother, a sister, and one grandson.
Robert J. Webster
WARREN, Ohio—Robert J. Webster, former president and CEO of Denman Tire Corp., died Jan. 24 in Warren. He was 78.
A decorated veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Mr. Webster began his career in 1955 with Mansfield Tire & Rubber Co. He joined Denman in 1957 where he was executive vice president and director.
He became Denman's president and CEO in 1972, a position he held until his retirement in 1988.
In addition to serving on a number of civic and company boards, he also was a member of the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Tire Division Executive Committee in Washington.
Mr. Webster is survived by his wife, Shirley, two children, a sister and three grandchildren.