John Rainey, Past ARA President, Dies

BOWIE, Md. – John Allen Rainey, a past president of the former American Retreaders Association and a 2015 inductee into the North Carolina Tire Dealers Hall of Fame, died March 16 at his home in Henderson, N.C. He was 94.

The owner and operator of City Tire Inc. in Henderson, Rainey assisted in the foundation of the North Carolina Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association (NCTDA), which merged in 2021 with the Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina to become the Automotive Service and Tire Alliance.

He also was involved in the American Retreaders Association (ARA), a predecessor organization of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), where he served as an advisory board member and president from 1991-1993. At one time, City Tire, which continues to operate in Henderson, retreaded passenger, light truck and truck tires.

“John was a good board member, executive committee member and a good president,” said Terry Westhafer, who served as ARA president from 1984-88. “He was a small, local retreader but he was a good one and he took pride in his work.”

TIA CEO Richard “Dick” Gust served with Rainey on the retreading association’s board. He said Rainey was open to new ideas and was one of the first to accept the concept of bead-to-bead passenger tire retreading as a new innovation. “He worked alongside Mary Sikora, Ed Wagner and me to promote the concept of tire recycling within our association, which ultimately led to the tire recycling community joining forces with the International Tire & Rubber Association (formerly called the ARA) and TIA. He was a pioneer who worked for promoting the Tire Industry Association.”

Rainey also was active in his community. He was a member of Henderson’s Downtown Merchants Association, former member of the Henderson Rotary Club, served as a leader for the Boy Scouts of America, where he was a member of the Loyal Order of the Arrow, and was a former chairman of the Vance County School Board. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church where he served in many leadership positions as well as a Sunday School teacher in the Fellowship Class.

Rainey is survived by two daughters, Patricia R. Frazier (Tommy), and Rebecca Aycock (Kirby); two sons, Mike Rainey, president of City Tire (Anora) and Ray Rainey (Jan); six granddaughters; three grandsons; and six great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty, and daughter Bobbie Jean Rainey.