Ron Clair, a long-time automotive aftermarket executive, passed away May 31 at the Villages in Florida. With a 47-year career in the automotive aftermarket, Clair held various management positions with Fram, Bendix and Autolite. Before retiring, he worked for Auto Plus and supported accounts in its AIM Group.
Clair was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 16, 1943. According to his obituary, Clair “was never late to a party.” He was an eternal prankster and always up for a round of golf. His friends in the aftermarket knew him as a people person who was selfless and humble.
Rick Webster, a sales representative at Pro-Rep Sales who worked for Fram Corporation (which was then under Allied-Signal and is now the Honeywell Corp.), met Clair when he moved to Atlanta in 1985 when Clair was a regional manager with the automotive division of Honeywell International.
“Ron always saw the bright side of things and was the master of compromise,” Webster said. “He was a master motivator who knew how to get the most of his salespeople. Ron moved many times in his career and always was a success wherever he went. He was a very religious person, a great family man and he will be missed by all his family and friends.”
Michael Copps, a retired regional manager with Fram, recalled meeting Clair at a national sales conference as “an inexperienced sales guy who you immediately knew would be successful,”
“He had great personality and was fun to be around with ‘homespun’ Oklahoma accent,” Copps remembers. “He was recruited to Fram by Clay Garrett, a long time zone manager… He was a wonderful golfer. I remember him sitting next to me at breakfast one morning and he showed the group approximately six vitamins he took each morning. Immediately, he converted 6 of us into taking vitamins. Ron was a kind, thoughtful human being that made everyone who knew him into a better person because of his devotion to clean, healthy living and Christianity. He will indeed be missed.”
After retirement, Clair pursued a master’s degree from Liberty University, a Ph.D. in Theology, followed by another doctorate in Ministry.
He is preceded in death by his parents, George and Dorothy Clair. He is survived by his wife, Vicky Clair, of almost 60 years, his son, Chad, and big sister Barbara (Jack) Maynard, along with numerous other relatives.