November 14, 2018
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AUSTIN GOODYEAR

BROOKLIN – Austin Goodyear, 85, owner of Ellsworth Builders Supply, Inc. died at his home in Brooklin, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2005. He was born in Buffalo, N.Y., the son of Charles W. and Grace (Rumsey) Goodyear. He was a descendant of the Charles Goodyear who invented the process of vulcanizing rubber and after whom the Goodyear Tire Company was named. However, no member of the Goodyear family has ever had an active role in that company. Mr. Goodyear attended private schools in Buffalo and graduated from Saint Mark’s School in Southborough, Mass., in 1939. After briefly attending Yale, he went on to pursue business interests and to marry Louisa Robins in 1940. World War II interrupted the first phase of his business career, but after serving in the U.S. Air Force he returned to civilian life, bought a home in Tenafly, N.J., and worked at Hewitt-Robins, a company that was then producing industrial conveyor belts and rubber products. Mr. Goodyear and his family subsequently moved to New Canaan, Conn., where he ascended to the position of C.E.O. of Hewitt-Robins, and when Hewitt-Robins was acquired by Litton Industries, became a vice-president of Litton. In Connecticut, he was able to pursue his childhood dream of owning a sailboat. He sailed on Long Island Sound and, as his children grew older, began cruising along the Maine coast, developing a love for this part of the world. In 1957, he commissioned Sparkman and Stevens to design his 45 foot ketch, Mermaid, which was built by Paul Luke in East Boothbay and remained one of the great joys of his life. He and Louisa bought their “dream house” on the Benjamin river in Brooklin in 1966, and by 1970 they were able to move there permanently when he purchased Ellsworth Falls Lumber Company and its subsidiary Ellsworth Builders Supply, Inc. When Goodyear acquired the company, EBS had only one store and 10 employees. Over the past 35 years the company has grown to 300 employees with 10 branches from Calais to Rockland. Goodyear’s aim has been to bring business efficiency and information technology into all aspects of the company’s operations. Under his leadership EBS has constantly renovated and updated its facilities and in the past three years has achieved improvements and productivity gains at all 10 branches. Mr. Goodyear’s first wife, Louisa R. Goodyear passed away in 1992 and in 1993 he married, Sara Suleri, a professor of English at Yale University. He is survived by his wife Sara; his children, Grace Roosevelt of New York City, N.Y., Tom Goodyear of Caribou, and Cullen Goodyear of Vancouver, B.C., Canada; 10 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. After a private burial in Sedgwick there will be a memorial service at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at the Congregational Church in Blue Hill. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the Blue Hill Heritage Trust, P.O. Box 222, Blue Hill, ME 04614. <>


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