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Ohio Dealer Thomas C. Lavery Dies

January 07, 2010

Thomas C. Lavery, the former board chairman of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, died Tuesday in Naples, Fla. He was 88. 

Lavery was respected in the Ohio dealership community for his work ethic and dedication to the industry. He founded Lavery Chevrolet in 1966. The dealership, located in Alliance, Ohio, now is called Lavery GM Superstore, carrying the Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC brands.

“Tom Lavery was a true ambassador of our industry, his community and professional business people everywhere. He will surely be missed and his legacy will just as strongly continue,” said the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association in a statement.

James Kling, executive vice president of the Greater Stark County Area Dealers Association, told CantonRep.com that Lavery was a strong and professional businessman who contributed both to the industry and his community. He was a “quiet leader who led by example,” Kling said “You can’t have a better example of somebody in our industry than Tom Lavery.”

Lavery was a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. He served in the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific during World War II, and returned to earn a degree in business from Ohio University in 1946.

He served as president of both the Stark County (Ohio) and Ohio automobile dealers associations. He was a past president of the Alliance YMCA, Alliance Community Hospital and was a member of the Alliance Rotary Club. He also was an honorary Mount Union College ‘M’ Club member and received the Alliance Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Enterprise Award in 2006.

Lavery is survived by his wife, Arline; sons, Robert and William; daughter, Mary Ann; another granddaughter, Laura; and a sister.

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