FAIRLAWN, Ohio (Sept. 30, 2016) — Thomas “T.C.” Johnson, founder of Tyres International Inc. and former Mohawk Rubber Co. executive, died Sept. 15 at age 93.
Born Sept. 27, 1922, in Pittsburgh, Mr. Johnson began his tire industry career with Pennsylvania Tire in 1946 before moving onto Mohawk Tire, where he was the company's vice president for 12 years.
In 1970, he left Mohawk to launch his own independent tire importer/distribution company, Tyres International. Under his leadership, the firm introduced a range of passenger, truck and specialty tire brands to the U.S. market, including Apollo, Belshina, Barum, BKT, Ceat, Matador, Matech, Melbourne, Mitas, MRF and Tiber.
Mr. Johnson was a four-year military veteran, serving during World War II as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army's First Cavalry Division before his discharge in 1946.
Mr. Johnson was an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan and is remembered for his creativity, integrity, care for employees and sense of humor.
He was preceded in death by his wife Mary, son Thomas Johnson Jr. and grandson David Bezbatchenko. Mr. Johnson is survived by daughters Sue (Rick) Steiger and Barb (Martin) Bezbatchenko; grandchildren, Lindsay (Todd) Danforth, Brett Steiger, Jeff Steiger, Michael (Lisa) Bezbatchenko and Nicholas (Jamie) Bezbatchenko; and several great-grandchildren.
A private memorial service was held for Mr. Johnson.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the David Bezbatchenko Scholarship Fund, payable to Tallmadge Foundation, P.O. Box 62, Tallmadge, Ohio 44278, or Shriners Hospital for Children c/o Tadmor Temple, 3000 Krebs Drive, Akron, Ohio 44319.