Marvin Bozarth, one of the retread industry’s foremost experts and a past managing director of the American Retreaders Association (ARA) and executive director of the International Tire & Rubber Association (ITRA), died Sept. 1, 2022, at the Missouri Veterans Home in Mexico, Mo. He was 85.
Retread Industry Icon Passes Away
Born Dec. 10, 1936, Bozarth was the youngest child of Ed and Esther Bozarth of Paris, Mo. He was raised on their farm three miles south of Paris on the Elk Fork of the Salt River and attended Oak Ridge Elementary School and later Paris High School. He joined the Army in 1955 and was stationed in Germany until his discharge in 1958. For the next seven years, he worked for MFA Oil & Tire Division in Columbia, Mo., responsible for the tyre retread shop.
In March 1962, Bozarth married Donna Lear. They bought a small farm west of Columbia near Midway, Mo., where they lived until he was offered a position at Community Tire Co. in St. Louis. In 1970 they moved to the Ozark Mountains near Potosi, Mo., where Bozarth was employed by the Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. as plant manager and vice president of production.
Bozarth started his career at ARA in 1988 as technical director and three years later was named the association’s managing director. When the ARA changed its name to ITRA in 1996, Bozarth continued to lead the organisation as executive director serving until 2002. During his tenure at ARA/ITRA, the association built a new headquarters and training centre in Louisville, Ky., and greatly expanded and improved its retread and tyre repair training programmes. During this time, Bozarth also served as editor of The Tire Repair & Retread Journal and co-authored the book “Tire Essentials.”
Bozarth later worked as a consultant for his own company called Tire Analysis, Inc. He was an expert witness in civil court cases involving tyres and retreading for many years. He also was the recipient of many awards and honours during his career.
In 1995 he was inducted into the Retreaders Hall of Fame, in 2003 into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame and in 2022 was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Tire Retreading Sector by Valebridge Media Services in the United Kingdom, publisher of Retreading Business and Tyre & Rubber Recycling magazines. In announcing the award, David Wilson, managing director of Valebridge Media, called Bozarth “a legend in the North American retreading industry, a larger-than-life figure who contributed hugely to the retreading industry during his career.”
Bozarth enjoyed quail hunting and spending time with his family. He was active in the Baptist church and served as a deacon. He was well read and very well-traveled. He was a light in the life of anyone who knew him, and we will all miss him very much, his family said.
Preceded in death by four brothers, Clyde, James, JE and Robert, and five sisters, Madge Tawney, Blanche Jacobs, Jane West, Esther Hatton and Dolly Kiplinger, Bozarth is survived by his wife Donna, children Tina, Ed and Scott, grandson Mitchell, and nieces and nephews too numerous to list.