Former Tire Industry Association (TIA) president and longtime independent tire dealer Robert “Bob” Malerba died May 30 in hospice care in Wallingford after battling cancer for the past two years.
Mr. Malerba, 64, was TIA president in 2005-06 and owner of Malerba's Silver City Tire—a dealership founded by his father in 1939—from 1983 to 2004, when he sold the three-outlet business to Bob Berlin, who changed the name to Berlin Bandag Inc.
A native of Meriden, Conn., Mr. Malerba continued to work for Berlin Bandag for a few years before retiring and setting up a consulting business, Malerba's Consulting LLC.
“Everyone at TIA is saddened to hear of the death of our former president and friend, Bob Malerba,” TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield said in a prepared statement.
“Bob cared very passionately about the success of TIA, and he showed this before, during and after his presidency. His service to TIA will not be forgotten, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends during this time of great loss.”
Mr. Malerba was an 11-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, piloting KC135 refueling planes during the Vietnam War.
He served on the boards of TIA's predecessor organizations, the Tire Assocation of North America and National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association, and the New England Independent Tire Dealers (now the New England Tire & Service Association).
In his spare time, Mr. Malerba was an avid fisherman, as attested to by his involvement in the International Game Fish Tournament Observers and New England Salt Water Fishing.
Mr. Malerba is survived by his wife of 40 years, Kitty; his mother Helen; son Jeffrey; daughter Kymberly; and two grandchildren.
Mr. Malerba was buried with full military honors at the Connecticut State Veteran's Cemetery in Middletown.
The family asked that contributions in his memory be made to the Meriden Boys & Girls Club and/or the Jack Barry Little League in Meriden.