HARTVILLE, Ohio — Longtime tire trade press journalist Charles (Chuck) Slaybaugh Jr., who served a decade and a half in the editorial department of Tire Business and its sister publication, Rubber & Plastics News, died June 28 at his home in Hartville. He was 80.
Mr. Slaybaugh spent more than three decades as a journalist covering the tire industry. He initially worked in the editorial department at Modern Tire Dealer, under Editor Ernie Zielasko.
When Mr. Zielasko left MTD to start RPN, Mr. Slaybaugh was named MTD's editor, later becoming its editorial director. He left MTD to write a book, the "Grandparent's Catalog: An Idea Book for Family Sharing."
Mr. Zielasko later sold RPN to Crain Communications Inc., and soon thereafter started Tire Business. He hired Mr. Slaybaugh as a freelance writer, then as special projects editor for both RPN and TB.
Mr. Slaybaugh later was named TB's executive editor, retiring from the business in January 2002.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Elaine, and three children — Charles III, Chris and Julie, along with a son-in-law and granddaughter.
Mr. Slaybaugh, who was born in Akron, received his bachelor's degree from Kent State University. He enjoyed fishing, photography and studying the Civil War, and, along with his wife, visited five continents and 40 countries, as well as all 50 states.
He and his wife volunteered for community organizations, including Quail Hollow State Park, Hartville Thrift Shoppe and Friends of the Library.
Mr. Slaybaugh and his family also volunteered the past several years to help select the Tire Business Humanitarian of the Year, an award that Tire Business bestows annually on a deserving tire industry community member and an award he helped create.
Mr. Slaybaugh overcame Parkinson's disease and three back surgeries to learn to walk again and became an avid bike rider with the use of a tandem recumbent bike. His family said he biked more than 3,000 miles over the last two years.
According to his obituary, Mr. Slaybaugh "lived his 80 years to the fullest, with a sense of humor, humility, and sincerity, his legacy defined by his giving and selfless nature."
The family requests that memorials be sent to St. Jacob's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1460 State Street NE, North Canton, Ohio 44721, or Brain Support Network, P.O. Box 7264, Menlo Park, Calif. 94026.
A private service will be held at noon on July 8 at St. Jacob's Evangelical Lutheran Church. The service will be livestreamed via Zoom.
Calling hours will take place that night at St. Jacob's from 5 to 7 p.m.