BLOOMINGDALE, Ill. — James Ahern Sr., who along with his brothers helped to oversee the growth of family-owned Cassidy Tire & Service from one location to 15 locations, died July 9 at age 80.
Mr. Ahern, a third-generation owner of the business, began his career at Cassidy Tire at age 18 right out of the Army and worked at the dealership until his death.
Today, the business serves the retail, commercial and wholesale markets.
"As a consummate salesman and steward of the Cassidy Tire brand, he could find the most clever and funny ways of sneaking a tire sale into just about any conversation," the post said. "He was as funny as he was dedicated to his craft, and his incredible sense of humor, quick wit and unrelenting work ethic will forever serve as an inspiration to us all."
Mr. Ahern is survived by his wife Sheila, whom he was married to for 56 years; sons James Jr., Richard and Bryan; and daughter Kristen, as well as two brothers, Thomas Sr. and Frank Ahern. He also had 11 grandchildren.
According to Richard Ahern, his father's influence on the business "was strong until the day he died." He said his dad would start his day at 4 a.m. or earlier on most days.
Mr. Ahern's uncle, William J. Cassidy, started the business in 1914. Mr. Cassidy did not have children, and turned the dealership over to his nephew, Hugh Ahern.
Hugh Ahern eventually operated the dealership before turning it over to James Ahern and his five brothers: Bill, Frank, Jack, Tom and Hugh, Jr.
The fourth generation currently operates the business, which the owners say is "Chicagoland's largest independent tire dealer."
In lieu of flowers, the Ahern family asks that donations be made to the "Common Good Fund" at St. Isidore Catholic School.