RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Vogue Tyre & Rubber Co. CEO and Chairman Joel Fischer died July 22 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 89 years old.
Mr. Fischer started working with Vogue in 1954, hired by his father-in-law and Vogue Tyre owner Loyd Dodson as the company's only salesman covering the eastern U.S. Mr. Dodson at that time was based in Los Angeles.
Traveling alone or with his wife Lucile, he built the company up and eventually assumed the CEO and chairman's positions.
He retired from day to day duties with the company in 1997, but continued to serve as CEO and chairman of the board until his death.
During his time with Vogue, Mr. Fischer is credited with shaping the company's culture, the way it conducted business and how it treated employees, according to Vogue Tyre President Greg Hathcock.
"He often told me that he had to sell at least seven tires a day to break even," Mr. Hathcock said, referring to Mr. Fisher's early days with the company.
"Culturally, Joel made sure that Vogue treated its employees right, and it was his idea to set up the profit-sharing plan that has benefited over 60 years' worth of Vogue employees. He always conducted himself with integrity and humility, despite his significant professional achievements."
Outside of Vogue, Mr. Fischer was considered a skilled athlete, playing basketball at the University of Southern California in the late 1940s (It's said he turned down an offer from UCLA, as they had a new, unknown coach named John Wooden) and scoring six holes-in-one playing golf.
He served in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of colonel. He served as an Air Force attaché in Paris in 1953.
He also was on the boards of directors at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Ill., and at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
He is survived by his wife of 67-plus years, Lucile, and many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. A memorial service will take place this fall in Palm Desert, Calif.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.