James Walsh, former chairman and CEO of Armstrong Rubber Co. and a member of the Tire Industry Association's (TIA) hall of fame, died April 20. He was 88.
Born March 23, 1921, in Passaic, N.J., Mr. Walsh officially started working as a 16-year-old at Armstrong Rubber's West Haven, Conn., tire plant, which his father managed. He continued working there following his graduation from Yale University in 1942.
While working at Armstrong, Mr. Walsh also worked with Copolymer Corp. and helped to create synthetic rubber products used by the Allied Forces during World War II.
Mr. Walsh became manager of the West Haven plant and eventually managed the construction of another plant in Hanford, Calif. That facility had the tire industry's first continual flow-through assembly line contained on the same level in one building.
Mr. Walsh took on the role of president of Armstrong Rubber in 1971, and became CEO and chairman in 1980. He retired from the company five years later and was inducted into the National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association (NTDRA) hall of famenow the TIA hall of famein 1986.
During his time with Armstrong Rubber, which eventually merged with the former Pirelli Tire Corp., Mr. Walsh helped the company become the sixth largest tire manufacturer in the U.S. In his retirement, he resided in Sparks.
Mr. Walsh is survived by his wife Sandra, six children, two sisters, seven grandchildren, two great grandchildren and other relatives.