Harold L. Becker
GREAT BEND, Kan.-Harold L. Becker, 90, founder of Becker Tire & Treading Inc., died June 15.
Mr. Becker, a lifetime Great Bend resident, founded Becker Tire there in July 1954. It has since grown into one of the largest tire distributors and retreaders in the Midwest, with eight commercial and retail stores throughout Kansas, one retread plant, a used tire warehouse and a distribution center.
Mr. Becker retired from the company in 1990 but remained involved, consulting daily with his son Wayne Becker, the dealership's president and CEO, until about a month ago when he no longer could do so physically.
``Honestly, he called me everyday without fail seven days a week up until about a month ago wanting to know about business,'' Wayne Becker said. ``If he told you something, you didn't need a contract, it was a done deal.''
Harold Becker was a member of the former National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association, serving on its executive board for 10 years.
Besides his son, Mr. Becker is survived by his wife Lois; three daughters, Linda Sisson and Jean Radke of Great Bend and Ann Engel of McPherson, Kan.; one brother; nine grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.
Charles R. Potter
BATON ROUGE, La.-Charles R. ``Bob'' Potter, owner and CFO of Area Wholesale Tire Co. Inc., died June 9 at Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Bluebonnet. He was 70.
Mr. Potter and his father, the late C.S. Potter, got started in the tire business in 1961 after borrowing $25,000 to buy the assets of a Dayton Tire & Rubber Co. warehouse in Baton Rouge, which was known as Dayton Tire Co. of Lousiana Inc.
Dayton Tire was in the process of being sold to Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. and was closing its warehouses across the country. Mr. Potter continued his job at Texaco Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was involved in dealer training. In 1965, he left Texaco and joined his dad in managing the dealership. In 1970, they renamed the business Area Wholesale Tire.
The company, which started out with three employees, now has more than 125 and serves customers in Louisiana, Mississipi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas through seven distribution centers in Louisiana and Texas and three associate centers in Texas and New Mexico. The wholesaler's corporate headquarters, wholesale and mixing warehouses and retread plant are in Baton Rouge.
A U.S. Navy veteran, Mr. Potter was inducted into the Louisiana Tire Dealers Hall of Fame in 2001. He served on the boards of Great American Corp., the former National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association and Sure Tire Co. as well as on Sure's executive council. He also was on the distributor councils for the Remington and Mastercraft tire brands and Long Mile tread rubber.
Mr. Potter's son, W.B. ``Billy'' Potter, who took over as the dealership's president in 2003, said the company will continue to grow and move full speed ahead.
Mr. Potter also is survived by his wife Mary; daughters Debbie Terrell and Cherie Cornett of Baton Rouge; a sister; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.