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Industry veteran Tom Wright Sr. has died

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Tire Industry Association (TIA) board member Tom Wright Sr. died August 25 after a long battle with cancer. He was 74.

Wright had a career spanning more than 50 years in the tire industry. After graduating from Penn State University with a degree in business administration, he moved to Minnesota and began his career with Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. He learned about selling tires at his first store and moved up the corporate ladder to become store manager and then sales manager for about 400 stores. In 1975, he opened Wright Tire Service in Anoka, Minn., which is still in business today.

"We are deeply saddened by the news of Tom's passing," says Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Wright family. Tom was a great leader and friend who gave so much to his community on a local level and to our industry on a national level. His dedication will always be remembered."

Wright had 39 years of continued service as a board member for the National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association (NTDRA) and the Tire Association of North America (TANA), predecessors to TIA, and TIA. As an executive officer of TANA, Wright was instrumental in the merger of TANA and the International Tire and Rubber Association (ITRA) to form TIA.

In 1979, he served as president of the North Central Tire Dealers and Suppliers Association where he worked with the legislature to help get a scrap tire resolution which helped many tire dealers survive. He continued to serve on its board until his death. Wright also was very active in strengthening the relationship between state/provincial associations and TIA. In 2014, he was honored with the Ed Wagner Leadership Award at the Tire Industry Honors Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas.

He also was a past president of the Anoka Chamber of Commerce.

Wright was preceded in death by his daughter, Shannon Hunt; and brother, Jay Wright. He is survived by his wife, Janice (Keillor); children, Thomas Jr. (Debbie), Karla (Eric) Thomsen; son-in -law, Steven Hunt; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be on Friday, August 28, from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Trott Brook Gospel Hall, 17301 Nowthen Blvd, Ramsey, Minn. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 29, at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 14501 Nowthen Blvd, Ramsey, Minn.

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