GILROY, Calif. — Former Northern California tire dealer and wholesaler Alfred Allen Howard has died. He was 82.
Mr. Howard established Howard Tire in 1962 in Belmont, Calif, which he financed, according to his obituary, via a 90-day loan of $10,000 from his maternal grandfather. He was said to have repaid the loan in 60 days.
Howard Tire eventually expanded to seven retail locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. He also operated the largest wholesale tire division in Northern California during the 1980s and early 1990s.
He sold Howard Tire in 1995 to Wheel Works. At that time, he had more than 100 employees.
Three years later, Mr. Howard opened E Z Clean Car and Dog Wash in Gilroy, which continues to operate.
According to his obituary, Mr. Howard traveled throughout country by hitchhiking on railroad box cars, leaving home at the age of 16 with only a $50 in his shoe.
Mr. Howard, born in Alameda, Calif., served in the U.S. Navy, serving more three years on the USS Segundo submarine.
Mr. Howard is survived by his wife Jane; daughters Allyson and Jennifer; two sons-in-law; four grandchildren and one brother, Dick. A celebration of life is tentatively planned for July 2020.