CANTON, Ohio — Everett David Richards, founder of Canton Bandag Co., died July 4 at age 87.
A U.S. Army Korean War veteran, he worked in the local steel mills before taking a job at S&S Tire in Barberton, Ohio, where he learned to change semi-truck tires.
Upon hearing about the then-new Bandag retreading process, Mr. Everett and three partners invested $1,000 each to open one of the original Bandag retreading shops in Akron in 1959.
"As you may imagine it was rough going in those times. 'Bandag? Never heard of it' was many a comment to overcome, but slowly and with much perseverance a small customer base began," said his son Dave Richards, adding, "My father cherished each customer because he knew there were other places his customers could do business with. But my dad earned their trust and they knew he was honest with them at all times and, when failures happened, he always made it right and was very responsive."
It 1962, a financial crisis forced the business to close. Mr. Richards found another financial backer in Carlton B. Coen and later that year, with $ 7,200, franchised Canton Bandag Co. in Canton.