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Tire dealers Neal and Foord die on April 12

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Two tire industry icons died on the same day last week: Burnham Neal and Tom Foord. Both were 89.

Neal died in Mattoon, Ill., on April 12. His family founded Ben Tire Distributors Ltd. in 1925. Based in Toledo, Ill., the wholesale company has seven distribution centers in the Midwest, plus 28 retail stores doing business as Neal Tire and Auto.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy. He is survived by his daughter,Melissa, and two grandsons, Sean and David.

Foord also died on April 12. He founded Kal Tire in 1953; the Vernon, B.C.-based retail and commercial tire dealership services eight Canadian provinces through more than 230 company-owned stores and associate dealers.

He was elected to the Tire Industry Hall of Fame in 2003.

Foord was predeceased by his wife, Norah, after 68 years of marriage. He is survived by his children, Jean, Colin, Nancy, Janet and Robert, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

To read a "Vernon Morning Star" article about Foord's impact on the community, click here.

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