DECATUR, Ind. — Longtime tire industry stalwart Stuart A. Zurcher, a pioneer in the "Twenty Group" movement for tire retailers in the early 2000s, died March 13 at age 72.
Mr. Zurcher's tire industry resume covered nearly 45 years, starting in 1974 with the opening of Zurcher Tire of Angola Inc. in Angola, Ind., a retail tire dealership he managed until 2001, and included several years on the Tire Industry Association (TIA) board of directors.
Mr. Zurcher ventured into consulting in 2007, teaming up with fellow industry veteran Norman Gaither to form Dealer Strategic Planning Inc. (DSP), which organized peer-centered Twenty Group meetings for tire dealers.
He later formed Strategic Alliance Group Inc., which also was active in Twenty Group facilitating.
"Stu Zurcher was an enthusiastic TIA leader, a caring mentor, and a long-time supporter of the TIA training programs," TIA CEO Roy Littlefield said. "He will be greatly missed by his many friends in the tire industry."
Mr. Zurcher was particularly active in TIA's training endeavors, chairing the Training and Education Committee for several years.
In 2012 he helped organize the Center for Tire & Service Education, which helped develop the "Tire Leadership 21" at Northwood University in Midland, Mich. He was active in this endeavor until 2018.
A 1965 graduate of Adams Central High School in Decatur, Ind., he earned an associates degree in mechanical engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University - Fort Wayne and Indiana Institute of Technology. He also served time in the U.S. National Guard.
He is survived by his daughter Lesli Emerick; sisters Vicki Magsamen and Penny (Doug) Hinsky; and one grandson.
Visiting hours will be March 17 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Haggard-Sefton-Hirschy & Zelt Funeral Home in Decatur.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on March 18 at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist, Decatur, Ind.; Our Shephard Lutheran Church, Avon, Ind.; and Community Health Network Foundation's Oncology Patient Assistance Fund.