Obituary Archives - Transmission Digest
Remembrance: Gene Lewis

Sadly, I report the passing of Gene Lewis on March 25 of this year. Gene was 97 at the time of his death. Gene was the force behind the growth of ATRA during his term as the association’s executive vice president in the 1980s. I worked closely with Gene in creating and producing the TransExpo

BendPak founder Don Henthorn passes away

Don Henthorn, owner and founder of BendPak Inc., peacefully passed away at home Thursday, March 28, at the age of 85. Under his leadership, BendPak has grown from a small machine shop to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of car lifts and automotive service equipment. Management and operations of the privately owned company are unchanged. Henthorn

Al La Rocca passes away

It is with great sorrow that we report the passing of longtime automatic transmission industry veteran Al La Rocca. He started his long career back in 1958 at Allomatic Industry as a plant manager, moving from there to Windsor Products in New Jersey as a production manager. Al continued his career at AJAC Transmission Parts

Two industry friends have passed

With sorrow, we report that former longtime Lubegard sales manager Ken Thomas, 76, passed away from a heart attack on Oct. 5. Ken created friendships and business relations over many years at Lubegard during which he seemingly attended every weekend seminar, distributor open house and industry trade show. Ken (pictured above) will be remembered as

BorgWarner’s Tom Hardies passes

It is with great sadness that we share unexpected news of the Dec. 17 passing of Tom Hardies, Senior Sales Manager at BorgWarner Powertrain. Tom was a remarkable leader; a quiet person with a dry sense of humor he shared with those around him. Outside of his work, Tom was an athlete who enjoyed the

Former APRA president Bill Gager passes away

William C. Gager, former president of the Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Associations (APRA), passed away on Nov. 23. He was 79 years old. The APRA Board of Directors sent out the following statement: “Bill and APRA were synonymous. Bill retired at the end of 2013. During his 35 years as president of APRA, Bill made significant

Bill Gager
Industry veteran Leo Frumkin passes away

The transmission industry lost another veteran on June 23 when Leo Frumkin passed away at the age of 93 after a brief illness. Leo was known for his outsized and engaging personality and will be missed by all who knew him. Leo founded National Transmission Products (NATPRO) in 1973, which became one of the longest-surviving

Leo Frumkin
Lucille Treganowan passes

The industry lost a pioneer and Transmission Digest lost a friend on May 19, when Lucille Treganowan passed away in Pittsburgh at the age of 92. With three children to support, Lucille took an office job in an automotive shop in 1960. She eventually learned the ins and outs of transmissions and opened Transmissions By

Industry pioneer Pete Kubrick dies

Pete Kubrick passed away last month at the age of 84. Pete was well known as the owner of Kason Transmission Shop and later of Transmission Parts Supply (TPS) headquartered in Texarkana, Texas. TPS grew to open several branches in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. Upon his 2013 retirement, the business was sold to Transtar. Pete

Industry mourns Morris Habif

TD is saddened by the news of the passing of Morris Habif, founder of APD Transmission Parts of Atlanta, early this month. Over the years, Morris owned a number of companies including an Atlanta real estate business.  Founded in 1959, APD was acquired by Transtar Industries in 2006. Morris was preceded in death by his