LAS VEGAS (July 12, 2016) — Raymond P. “Gus” Hawkinson Jr., 71, former president and CEO of retreading equipment manufacturer Paul E. Hawkinson Co., died in Las Vegas July 10 of complications from a stroke.
Mr. Hawkinson's death was reported July 11 by Harvey Brodsky, managing director of the Retread Tire Association and a friend of Mr. Hawkinson.
Mr. Hawkinson was a longtime board member of the American Retreaders' Association (ARA) and the International Tire & Rubber Association (ITRA), both predecessor organizations of the Tire Industry Association (TIA).
He was inducted into the Tire Industry Association Hall of Fame in 2010 for his contributions to the retreading industry.
Mr. Hawkinson was a pioneer in the retreading industry, leading his family-owned company into developing the first non-destructive testing standards for the industry, according to the RTA. He received the patent for those standards in 1981.
Mr. Hawkinson's technical expertise was a valuable resource to the ARA's members at a time when that association was the only technical support for independent retreaders, TIA said.
“When the retread industry started consolidating, he strongly supported the pursuit of commercial tire dealers and ITRA's early training efforts that ultimately led to TIA's current training and certification programs,” TIA said.
TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield said Mr. Hawkinson was a man of vital importance to the retreading industry, politically as well as technically.
“I've known Gus for more than 30 years, and you'll never meet anyone more passionate about supporting the independent retreader,” Mr. Littlefield said. “Whenever we had a retread issue on Capitol Hill, he was the first one to lead the charge in defense of retreading.”
Born in Ogden, Utah, on April 6, 1945, Mr. Hawkinson grew up in Minneapolis and attended Mankato State University.
He is survived by a brother, Dr. John A. Hawkinson; three sisters, Mary H. Temple, Paula H. Rooks and Karen L. Bicknell; and many nieces and nephews.