New England and Tire Industry Icon Roland Lesieur Dies
Roland Lesieur, co-owner of Maynard & Lesieur Inc., and former president of the New England Tire and Service Association, died on Feb. 13, 2019. He was 89 years old.
Roland was born on March 13, 1929, the son of the late Leo H. Lesieur and Jeanette Maynard Lesieur. He attended the University of New Hampshire in 1951 and enrolled in the ROTC program. He served in the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lieutenant stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, and Fort Lewis, Seattle. He also spent time in Korea during the U.S. conflict.
Once his duties in the Army were complete, he and his wife Eleanor (Ele) returned to Nashua, N.H., and raised their four children: Steven, Mark, Cheryl and Larry.
In Nashua, Roland was employed by Maynard and Lesieur Inc., a family tire business founded on June 1, 1928, by his father, Leo, and his grandfather Emile “Pop” Maynard. It began as a gasoline and oil change garage and expanded into repairs and tire sales.
After his father’s retirement, Roland streamlined the business into a tire sales and service enterprise that blossomed into one of New England’s largest tire retail and wholesale businesses.
Roland was a board member on a number of companies and associations, including the Gasoline Retailers Association of New Hampshire and the former National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association.
He also served as a board member for the New England Association of Independent Tire Dealers Association Board (NEAITD), the precurser to the New England Tire and Service Association. He served as NEAITD president, and was inducted into the association's hall of fame in 2008. He was a regular contributor to the NEAITD Roadrunner publication.
"Roland was a giant in the industry," said Roy Littlefield, CEO of the Tire Industry Association. " He was my mentor and a dear friend. He was a driving force in NTDRA’s early legislative efforts, and spent more time than any other tire dealer on Capitol Hill for the successful passage of voluntary tire registration.
"He was always a leader in both the New England association and the national association," said Littlefield. "He will be missed, but never forgotten.”
Roland was predeceased in death by his wife, Ele; his brother Leo “Mike” Lesieur; and daughter- in- law Laura Jean Lesieur. He is survived by his three sons, Steven (Carmen) of Hudson, Mark of Londonderry, and Larry of Nashua; daughter Cheryl Lesieur Appelstein (Charlie) of Sale; grandchildren Lynn Lesieur, Abbie Lesieur, Brian Lesieur (Jennifer), Natalie Lesieur-Molak (Nick), Erik Lesieur and Julie Appelstein; and great-grandchildren Ella and Beau Lesieur. He is also survived by his sisters Jacqueline Maynard, Madeleine Gingras, and his sister- in -law, Elinor Lesieur, as well as many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Nashua Children’s Home, 125 Amherst St., Nashua, NH 03064; Home Health and Hospice, 7 Executive Park Dr., Merrimack, NH 03054 specifying use for the Community Hospice House; or a charity of the donator's choice. Calling hours will be held at Davis Funeral Home on Lock St in Nashua on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Services will be held at St. Christopher Church on Manchester Street in Nashua on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, at 10 a.m.