Ed Wagner, former ARA director, dies at 87

Sept. 8, 2011

Ed Wagner, former managing director of the American Retreaders Association (ARA), died late Wednesday night in a hospice near his home in Louisville, Ky. He was 87.

Wagner took over the reigns of the ARA from George Edwards in 1968. He managed the ARA's Louisville Conference for 20 years, helping it become one of the top 200 industrial trade shows in the United States. He also saw ARA membership grow from 250 members to more than 1,600.

From 1956-58, he served as director of the Retreading Institute, which was run by the former National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association.

After stepping down as managing director of the ARA, he formed his own consulting business, Tire Technical Services Inc., which specialized in tire failure and retread plant analysis.

Wagner wrote for Modern Tire Dealer on and off from 1959 through the 1990s. Perhaps no story of his received more attention than his April 1993 story about the phenomena of "zipper" sidewall ruptures.

He was elected into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame in 1998.

Wagner is survived by his wife, Martha. More information will be forthcoming.

Visitation will be held Sunday, Sept. 11, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Ratterman Brothers Funeral Home, 3711 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40207. The funeral service will be held Monday, Sept. 12, at 11 a.m. at St. Albert the Great, 1395 Girard Dr., Louisviile, KY 40222.