Raymond Paul Hawkinson Jr., known throughout the tire and retreading industry as "Gus," died on July 10, 2016, in Las Vegas. He was 71.
Hawkinson, who had been ill for many years, suffered a severe stroke 10 days ago.
He was born April 6, 1945, in Ogden, Utah, and grew up in Minneapolis, Minn. He graduated from Edina High School and attended Mankato State University.
Hawkinson grew up in the tire industry and was CEO and president of the Paul E. Hawkinson Co., a family business manufacturing tire retreading equipment systems. He was a pioneer in the tire retreading industry, maintaining the company's technical retreading expertise. He was primarily responsible for developing the non-destructive testing industry standards; his initial patent was issued in 1981.
After his retirement he lived in Las Vegas, NV and served as a consultant to the tire industry. He was inducted into the Tire Industry Association (TIA) Hall of Fame in 2010.
“I’ve known Gus for more than 30 years and you’ll never meet anyone more passionate about supporting the independent retreader,” says Dr. Roy Littlefield, TIA's executive vice president. “Whenever we had a retread issue on Capitol Hill, he was the first one to lead the charge in defense of retreading.
"His service to the retread industry as an ARA (American Retreaders Association) and ITRA (International Tire and Rubber Association) board member was invaluable to the membership and as an innovator, his non-destructive testing methods are still being used to this day. Ray’s 2010 induction into the Hall of Fame was well deserved and he will be remembered as a retread industry great and active board member.”
"Gus was a friend and a character who will be missed by me and his many other friends who were fortunate to know him," says Harvey Brodsky, managing director of the Retread Tire Association. "Rest in peace, my friend."
"He was a cheerful, friendly and hospitable man," says his brother, Dr. John Hawkinson. "He enjoyed traveling around the world, especially to London, and loved a good dinner out with friends." He was also proud of his Swedish heritage: All four of his grandparents emigrated to Minnesota from Sweden in the late 19th century.
Hawkinson was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Raymond P. Hawkinson and Ruth (Olson) Hawkinson. Gus was a loyal and caring brother and loving uncle. He is survived by his brother, Dr. John (Marsie) Hawkinson; three sisters: Mary (Robert) Temple, Paula (William) Rooks and Karen (Kent) Bicknell; and many beloved nieces and nephews and friends.
Memorials may be sent to the American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407, or to the donor's choice.
A memorial service will take place at a later date.