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Longtime industry leader Joe Kilcoyne dies

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Joseph J. "Joe" Kilcoyne, who helped guide both of the industry's major tire dealer organizations, passed away on Friday after a long illness. He was 78.

"It's a terrible loss. He was a giant of a guy," says Harvey Brodsky, managing director of the Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB). "He had more passion for the industry than anybody.

"There wasn't a person in the industry who didn't like Joe. He knew everybody. He was just a wonderful guy."

"He'd go out of his way to help someone at any time," says Jack Woodland, chairman of Marangoni Tread North America. Woodland and Kilcoyne first met in 1978.

"He was as well-known and well-liked as anyone in the industry. And he was a good friend."

Kilcoyne joined AMF in 1956 and held various management positions in the company. When AMF's Tire Equipment Division was purchased by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Kilcoyne went along, eventually retiring as the division's vice president and general manager in 1986.

Then his second career began. He joined Oliver Rubber Co. as a special advisor to the president. He was named vice president of marketing in 1989, and was instrumental in the creation of Oliver's Elite Dealer Program.

He set up an office in his home in Incline Village, Nev., for his third career, as vice president of sales and marketing for Bandamatic System Inc.

During his 40+ years in the business, Kilcoyne was a director of the National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association -- the predecessor of both the Tire Association of North America (TANA) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA) -- and served on the American Retreaders' Association Advisory Council and board of directors.

Kilcoyne also served as a director of TRIB, which he helped establish. He was TRIB president from 1980-1981, and received the TRIB Man of the Decade Award for the 1980s.

In 1998 he was elected to the International Tire Retreading and Repairing Hall of Fame, renamed the Tire Industry Hall of Fame following the merger of TANA and the International Tire and Rubber Association (ITRA). He received the ITRA Industry Leadership Award in 1987.

He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Jackie; daughter Colleen Kilcoyne, her husband, Don Arnoudse, and their children, Josh and Sara; son Tom Kilcoyne and his wife, Laura; and son Dr. Kevin Kilcoyne, his wife, Anne, and their daughter, Gabriel.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations by made to the American Cancer Society.

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