The North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) is saddened to report that former Executive Manager Al Goodyear, aka Alfred W. Goodyear III, passed away on July 23 in San Diego, due to complications following a hip fracture. He was 83 years old.
Born in Birmingham, Ala., he graduated from the Georgia Military Academy and then enrolled at Penn State University where he graduated in 1949 with a B.A. degree in liberal arts. Al served in the U.S. Army and fought in Korea, where he was awarded the Purple Heart as a sergeant in the Third Division Reconnaissance Company (1951-1952).
He began his publishing career in as a field representative for Prentice-Hall, and later served as president of Goodyear Publishing Company (a subsidiary of Prentice-Hall). After the Goodyear firm was sold, Al served as Vice President of Sage Publications, Vice-President of education for Mitchell International, and Associate Publisher for Bristlecome Books.
Al served as NACAT Executive Manager from 1992-2005 and was awarded the NACAT MVP award in 2003. An avid tennis player and golfer throughout most of his life, Al also became an active musician after retirement, playing, managing and singing in musical groups that included the Stardust Harmonaires, Big John's Big Sound, and the Bernardo Heights Quartet. He played clarinet as well as alto and tenor saxophone. He is survived by his wife, Ann, son Scott; daughters, Sandra Falato and Donna Pekar; and five grandchildren.
“Lynda and I were very saddened to hear of Al Goodyear's passing,” said NACAT Executive Manager Dan Perrin. “I was serving on the NACAT Board when we hired Al and he was by far the superior candidate. He was exactly what we needed; someone who was a competent, no nonsense, manager who knew his job and was not timid about telling you if you did not do yours. Al was able to increase membership from the 500 range to over 800 in a short period of time. From there he was instrumental in several initiatives that brought recognition to NACAT and resources for the members. He served us well for thirteen years and now I am using the things I learned from him to continue his work at NACAT. His service to NACAT will continue to support us even though he is no longer with us.”
You can read a more detailed remembrance of Al Goodyear written by his good friend Jack Erjavec at www.algoodyear.nacat.org