Private Brand Tire Pioneer Al Hoffman Dies at 94
Albert Hoffman, co-founder of the Jetzon Tire and Rubber Co. Inc. and a pioneer in the private brand tire segment, died on Dec. 3, 2018, at his home in Boynton Beach, Fla., after battling cancer. He was 94.
Hoffman served in the army from 1942-1945, much of that time in Europe, and received a Bronze Star at age 19. His son Marc Hoffman, former president of Jetzon Tire, said he and his fellow soldiers liberated one of the concentration camps.
He also received France’s Legion of Honor Award, as well as the Certificate of Normandy Landing signed by former President Francois Hollande for his military service.
Hoffman started in the tire business working after school for his father in the late 1930s in the family retread and used tire business.
After being discharged from the service, he joined Hoffman Tire Co. full-time. In 1964, he co-founded Jetzon Tire, his first venture into the new tire business. In 1965, he formed Jetzon International Corp., the export arm of Jetzon Tire.
Expansion into the private brand business continued, with Doral in 1969, Telstar in 1970 and Laramie in 1971. Also in 1971, he founded International Tire Warehouses.
He was the first tire dealer to serve two terms as president of the Delaware Valley Tire Dealers’ Association, and was a director of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association (NTDRA) for five years. In addition, he was instrumental in the formation of the Private Brand Tire Group, an affiliate of the NTDRA, and served as the group’s first chairman.
Hoffman was one of eight inductees into the first class of the Tire Industry Hall of Fame in 1985. He was inducted with fellow tire industry pioneers Roy Carver, Harvey S. Firestone, James Harlan Heafner, J.P. Hennessy Sr., Winston “Bill” Marsh, William Francis O’Neil and Frank Seiberling.
“My dad, 'Boney' Jones, who passed in 2005, started buying off the Hoffman family in 1959, which started a friendship with all the Hoffmans that still goes on today,” says Alan Jones, co-owner of Tire City Inc. in Bristol, Pa. “Albert Hoffman helped everyone out from the very beginning in ways that no one would do today.”
Hoffman also made valuable contributions to many community activities. He was chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Philadelphia chapter of the Friends of Multiple Sclerosis Group, and received citations from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for work on hospital and public safety construction projects. He also served on the North Penn Hospital Board of Directors.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy (nee Thomas). He is survived by four sons: Marc (Meg) Hoffman, Jeffrey (Kathy) Hoffman, Fred (Cynthia) Hoffman and David (Bonnie) Hoffman; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and longtime companion Joanne Pera.
Family and friends are invited to graveside services Thursday, Dec. 6, at 1 p.m. at Monte-fiore Cemetery, 600 Church Rd., Jenkintown, Pa. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to any animal rescue society of your choice.