LOUISVILLE, Ky. — John Wagner, a former managing director of the American Retreaders' Association (ARA), died April 7 following a recurrence of cancer. He was 65.
He died "very peacefully," his mother Martha Wagner said. "His biggest wish was to die peacefully."
Mr. Wagner was named managing director of the former ARA in June 1988 succeeding his late father, Edward Wagner, who stepped down after leading the association for 20 years. At the time, John Wagner was technical and marketing consultant at Retreading Consultant Services Inc., which handled the management contract for the association.
Mr. Wagner served as ARA managing director until January 1991, when he informed the association he was not renewing his contract when it expired that November. The association named a replacement shortly thereafter and Mr. Wagner continued as managing director of special projects until his contract expired.
Terry Westhafer, president of Central Tire Corp. in Verona, Va., and an ARA past president and former board member, said Mr. Wagner came to the ARA at a time of significant expansion and growth.
"John brought a perspective to things that weren't inherent in the retreaders association and for that we were grateful," he said.
In 1993, Mr. Wagner launched the International Commercial Truck Tire & Service Exposition, a conference and trade show that ran one time, in Nashville, Tenn.
After leaving the tire industry, Mr. Wagner focused his career on his love of cooking, spending about 20 years working for a catering company in Louisville as executive chef, his mother said.
In addition to his mother, Mr. Wagner is survived by his son Chad and four brothers and four sisters.