SALISBURY, N.C.Homer Huskins, a founding partner of OTR tire retreading firm RDH Tire & Retread Co., died July 22 at age 85.
Mr. Huskins spent much of his career as an employee with Brad Ragan Inc.known as Carolina Tire Co. until it went public in 1970handling operations at the firm's retreading plant in Salisbury, according to his business partner Brad Ragan Jr.
Mr. Ragan told Tire Business he spent many years working under Mr. Huskins at his father's company.
He basically was almost my father, he said. I worked for him, and at that time I didn't see a lot of my dad. I was basically reared by company employees, one of them being Homer.
Goodyear acquired controlling interest in the dealership in 1985, and Messrs. Huskins and Ragan, along with Don Dodson, launched RDH Tire in Cleveland, N.C., in 1987.
Mr. Ragan called Mr. Huskins an icon and pioneer in the tire industry, adding that he was integral to the development of OTR tire service trucks and tire changing equipment.
He absolutely loved and enjoyed the tire businessespecially the big tiresas much as anybody you'll ever find, he said. He was a hell of a guy; that's all there is to it....
He worked hard and treated his friends well. He was very well thought of in the industry.
Preceded in death by his wife Beulah, he is survived by his daughters Nancy Huskins-Leonard (William) and Debi Huskins; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz.Ken Little, founder of the Lake Havasu Big O Tires store, died May 15 in Lake Havasu City. He was 70.
Mr. Little was a longtime member of the tire industry and a member of the Big O team for more than 40 years. He got his start in the industry working at his father's retreading plant when he was 8 years old. Mr. Little ended up purchasing the family store in Pomona, Calif., in 1976 and went on to own and co-own several Big O Tires operations in California in the late 1970s and 1980s.
According to the Havasu News, he founded the Lake Havasu Big O Tires store in 1992. In 2006, he was inducted into the Big O Tires Hall of Fame.
In addition to his experience with Big O, Mr. Little also was franchisee chairman, advertising chairman and a representative of the Franchise Advisory Council. He was named the International Franchise Association's Franchisee of the Year in 1998. He continued to play an active role at the Lake Havasu City store until his recent retirement.
He is survived by his wife Sue; sons Todd (Shirley) and Jeff (Lori); and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.