SURREY, British Columbia — Don Blythe, former president and executive director of the Western Canada Tire Dealers Association (WCTD) died Jan. 5 at age 79.
Mr. Blythe's resume included more than 60 years' experience, including 30 years with OK Tire, both as a corporate executive and franchisee. He also was a leader in promoting scrap tire recycling in Canada.
The WCTD lauded Mr. Blythe as an "unswerving supporter and industry stalwart for many decades."
He began his career with Goodyear in 1957 and worked there for 15 years in various operating and sales positions. In 1972, he moved to OK Tire as tire general manager.
He opened his own OK Tire franchise in Burnaby, British Columbia, in 1978 and was elected to the OK Tire board of directors in 1980. He returned to the OK Tire corporate ranks as managing director in 1982 and was promoted to president a year later.
During his time at OK Tire he also was president of the WCTD, from 1995-97. He retired from OK Tire in 2003 to become the association's executive director, a position he held until 2009, when he left the WCTD to become chairman of Tire Stewardship of British Columbia (TSBC), a nonprofit organization that runs the province's scrap tire and recycling programs.
He was elected to the Western Canada Tire Dealers Hall of Fame in 2008 and to the Tire Industry Association Hall of Fame in 2010.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years Laura.
His family is holding a Celebration of Life Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. at Lakebridge Amenity Centre in Surrey. Donations in Mr. Blythe's memory can be made to Surrey Memorial Foundation.