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John R. Harwood, 86, retired Dunlop Tire executive

Sept. 15, 1930 – April 11, 2017

John R. Harwood, a retired Dunlop Tire and Rubber Corp. executive, died Tuesday in Buffalo General Medical Center after a lengthy illness. His family said the cause was complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 86.

Born in Lockport, he moved to Williamsville with his family as a child and was a graduate of Williamsville High School. He enrolled at Clarkson University on a full football scholarship, then left after his sophomore year to serve in the Air Force in the Korean War. A map specialist, he attained the rank of airman first class.

When he returned to Clarkson, the football team had been discontinued, but he was able to retain his scholarship by becoming an assistant basketball coach. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Mr. Harwood began working in management for Dunlop Tire in the Town of Tonawanda in 1956 and advanced to become vice president of equipment sales. He was part of the team of local employees and investors that bought out the company when it was threatened with closing in the mid 1980s and took it private. He continued with the company after it was sold to Sumitomo Rubber Industries in 1986 and retired in 1995.

In retirement, he spent winters in Naples, Fla., and maintained a summer home in Holloway Bay, Ont.

In Florida, he was president and treasurer of the Tamarand Condo Association. He also served for more than 10 years on the board of directors of Kennels Ltd., a community association in Ontario.

He was a Buffalo Bills season ticket holder for 26 years. A dog lover, he enjoyed Labrador retrievers.

His wife of 30 years, the former Nancy Palmer, died in 1987. He was remarried in 1991 to the former Marjorie Cronin.

In addition to his wife, survivors include three sons, Daniel Dwyer, Patrick Dwyer and Brendan Dwyer; five daughters, Beth VanEtten, Wendy DelBello, Molly Dwyer, Stacy Giordano and Roberta Brownell; a sister, Georgia Lee Roberts; and 18 grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in Amherst Presbyterian Church, 151 S. Youngs Road, Amherst.

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