Arthur J. ``Art'' Bakaitis, retired corporate director of communications for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., died Nov. 25 in Ohio. He was 67.
Mr. Bakaitis, whose tenure in Cooper's communications department spanned more than 30 years, served on several boards, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Family Services of Hancock County, Ohio, the Findlay YMCA, the Boy Scouts of America and the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library. Following his retirement from Cooper in 1997, he moved to Prosperity, S.C., near where his wife, Nancy Susan, had taken a position as a vice president at Newbury College.
He was a part-time worker and volunteer at the Newbury County Memorial Hospital Cardiac Rehab Center, a member of the Newbury Pistol Club, a former member of the Newbury Rotary Club and the Paul Harris Circle.
After graduating from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where he grew up, Mr. Bakaitis worked for Cooper Tire for three years, then did a three-year stint with a non-rubber company in Detroit before returning to the tire industry.
In an interview at the time of his retirement, Mr. Bakaitis recalled that at first he thought he would join an unnamed Akron firm. It wasn't long before officials at Cooper Tire heard Mr. Bakaitis was in the job market and offered him a job as director of advertising. He accepted and said he had no regrets.
In addition to his wife, whom Mr. Bakaitis married in 1962, he leaves two daughters; two grandchildren; two brothers; 10 nephews and nieces; 12 great nephews and nieces; and 1 great-great niece.