Ed Kalail, a tire industry veteran who served more than three decades as a voice for General Tire, died Sept. 26 at the age of 87.
A graduate of the University of Akron, Kalail retired as director of communications at General Tire, where he worked for 32 years. His career with the company began when he was named editor of the company's internal newspaper, "Generally Speaking." He went on to become manager of public relations and assistant to the president—M.G. O'Neil—before taking the job as director of communications.
O'Neil, who founded the Sharon Golf Club in Sharon, Ohio, commissioned Kalail to write a coffee table history account for the club's 25th anniversary.
Kalail's responsibilities with General Tire varied at times, but among them he served as the tire and rubber product maker's spokesperson for local and regional media, and he coordinated the company's dealer meetings, which attracted some of the nation's most successful tire dealers.
Sports were a special part of Kalail's life. He actively supported his children's athletic endeavors while they were growing up, emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship. During the 10 years he served as athletic director at St. Martha school, he helped establish the school as one of the most competitive in the area where he lived, while encouraging good sportsmanship from the young athletes.
He volunteered his time with several Akron-area sports-related organizations, including the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame, which honored him for 50 years of volunteer service and created a permanent award in his honor.
Kalail also received a lifetime volunteer award from the Akron Touchdown Club, which has chosen to name the same award in his honor.
He also worked in the press office for the golf tournaments held at Firestone Country Club.
Throughout his life, he volunteered with a number of other organizations, including the American Red Cross, the BBB of Akron, the East Akron Board of Trade and Family Services.
A 30-year member of the Akron Press Club, Kalail served as a member of the City of Akron's Charter Review Commission and was on the board of The Civic, a theater in downtown Akron.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Catherine (Schaffer) Kalail, and is preceded in death by his son, Jeff, and his brother, Fred.
He also is survived by brother, Richard and wife Sybil; sons, Ed and his children Steven and Chelsea; Greg and wife Tammy (Kaszowski) Kalail, with two children, Megan and Matthew; and daughter, Kim and husband Mike; their kids, Michael and his wife Lani Rush, Ryan and wife MacKenzie (Hammond) Vellequette, Joshua and daughters Gina, Kerra, Kerrisa, as well as his soon to be great-granddaughter, Kaia Aleia.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Akron Civic Theatre. Donations can be made mailed to 182 S. Main Street, Akron, Ohio, 44308. They also may be made online at akroncivic.com, or by calling 330-535-3108.