AKRON — Ed Kalail, a tire industry veteran who served more than three decades in various communications roles for General Tire & Rubber Co., died Sept. 26 at age 87.
A graduate of the University of Akron, Mr. Kalail retired in 1995 as director of communications at Continental General Tire, the successor company of General Tire. In all he worked for 32 years for General Tire and CGT.
His career with the company began when he was named editor of the company's internal newspaper, "Generally Speaking." He went on to become manager of public relations and assistant to the president — M.G. O'Neil — before taking the job as director of communications.
Mr. Kalail's responsibilities with General Tire varied at times, but among them he was the tire and rubber product maker's spokesperson for local and regional media, and he coordinated the company's dealer meetings.
Sports were a special part of Mr. Kalail's life. He supported his children's athletic endeavors while they were growing up, emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship. He was athletic director for 10 years at St. Martha school.
He volunteered his time with several Akron-area sports-related organizations, including the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame, which honored him for 50 years of volunteer service and created a permanent award in his honor.
Mr. Kalail also received a lifetime volunteer award from the Akron Touchdown Club, which has named its own award in his honor.
He also worked in the press office for the golf tournaments held at Firestone Country Club. Mr. O'Neil, who founded the Sharon Golf Club in Sharon, Ohio, commissioned Mr. Kalail to write a coffee table history account for the club's 25th anniversary in the early 1990s.
Throughout his life, he volunteered with a number of other organizations, including the American Red Cross, the Better Business Bureau of Akron, and the East Akron Board of Trade and Family Services.
A 30-year member of the Akron Press Club, Mr. Kalail was a member of the City of Akron's Charter Review Commission and was on the board of The Civic, a theater in downtown Akron.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Catherine (Schaffer) Kalail, and is preceded in death by his son Jeff and his brother Fred.
He also is survived by brother Richard and his wife Sybil; son Ed and his children Steven and Chelsea; son Greg and his wife Tammy (Kaszowski) Kalail and their children Megan and Matthew; and daughter Kim and her husband Mike and their children: Michael and his wife Lani Rush; Ryan and his wife MacKenzie (Hammond) Vellequette; Joshua and daughters Gina, Kerra, Kerrisa.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Akron Civic Theatre.