Austin Goodyear 1
- Born: Abt 1920
- Marriage (1): Louisa Robins
- Marriage (2): Sara Sulari
- Died: 14 Aug 2005 about age 85
Austin Goodyear, former president of EBS, dies at 85
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
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ELLSWORTH - Austin Goodyear, a keen businessman who expanded Ellsworth Builders Supply from a single store with 10 employees to a company with 10 locations and 300 workers, died Sunday at his home in Brooklin. He was 85 years old.
Goodyear, who worked every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until about six months ago, was known locally for his contributions to the community, his strong leadership skills and his interest in providing jobs that would help keep young people in the state.
"He was a great guy," said Bob Jancewicz of Hancock, vice president of purchasing for EBS. "He always wanted to provide good employment for the people of Maine. He was a strong, tough leader and he ran a very tight ship. But he was also a good listener."
Jancewicz joined the company in 1973, three years after Goodyear purchased Ellsworth Falls Lumber Co., the parent of EBS.
The same year, Goodyear moved into his summer home overlooking the Benjamin River in Brooklin, where he also enjoyed sailing on his boat, the Mermaid.
As president and chief executive, he expanded the construction business from one Ellsworth store to 10 in towns from Rockland to Calais during his 35 years with the company.
In 1998, he won the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce's Top Drawer Award. The accolade honors "outstanding individual, company or organization of substantial contribution to the growth, development and improvement of the city, county or state."
On Monday, retired Superior Court Justice Herbert T. Silsby II remembered Goodyear as a client in his law office.
"He was a terrific businessman," Silsby said. "He really extended EBS into an astonishing business."
Brooklin Selectman Robert Tapley recalled Goodyear's regular contributions of building materials to maintain the Rockbound Chapel, a 100-year-old structure that is still used by the community.
One year, Goodyear donated some chimes in memory of his father, Charles. While the bells sound daily, they are particularly important during the holidays, when people gather inside the chapel to sing Christmas carols.
"He has taken care of them all these years by himself," Tapley said. "In my estimation, he was a fine man."
In a written statement, EBS President Dwayne Webber said Goodyear consistently renovated and updated the company's facilities and implemented new information technology for all aspects of operations.
The firm's store on State Street in Ellsworth is currently undergoing an extensive expansion.
"Austin was a passionate businessman, a community leader, and a valued friend and mentor to me," Webber said. "Although the company will miss Austin's visionary leadership, the company remains committed to continuing its reputation as a leading building supplies business in coastal and Downeast Maine."
Austin married Louisa Robins. (Louisa Robins died on an unknown date.)
Austin next married Sara Sulari, daughter of Z. A. Suleri and Surraya Mair. (Sara Sulari was born about 1953.)