FENTON, Mich. (Sept. 14, 2016) — James E. Faught, founder of Northwest Tire & Service Inc. in Flint, Mich., and a past president of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association, (NTDRA) died Aug. 25 at the age of 80.
Mr. Faught, who was born in Warren, Mich., on July 24, 1936, served in the National Guard of Michigan from 1954-1956, marrying Jane McCauley in April the following year in Indiana.
He began his career in the tire industry in 1958, working in collections for the former Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in Detroit. He later became a supervisor of several Firestone stores in the Detroit area before taking a position working in truck tires for the Akron-based tire maker's wholesale division.
According to his son Jim “A.J.” Faught Jr., Mr. Faught decided to become a tire dealer because, as his dad always said, “Tire dealers seemed to have more fun and they made more money.”
That led Mr. Faught to Flint, where in 1971 — with $5,000 in borrowed money — he leased a vacant store and opened an independent Firestone tire dealership under the name Northwest Firestone.
Over the years, Mr. Faught built what eventually became Northwest Tire & Service into 11 retail stores — with locations in Flint, Saginaw, Midland, Lansing and Okemos, Mich. — before selling the dealership to his son and retiring.
He also was active in the tire industry, serving as president of the NTDRA in 1994-95. In addition, he was a past president of the Michigan Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association.
While Mr. Faught loved being a tire dealer, he also had a lot of other interests, according to his son, including snowmobiling, his annual deer hunting trip in Munising, Mich., and spending time on his beloved boat “Majesty.”
Mr. Faught is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jane; daughters Kathleen Gehrman, Kellie and husband Tom Missenzis, and Maureen and husband Chris Brading; son A.J. and his wife Debbie; and 10 grandchildren.
The family suggested that donations may be made to Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran in Hartland, Mich., or the American Cancer Society.