Donald Francis Avila passed away on May 18, 2021. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 16, 1935. His parents were Charles F. and Elizabeth Avila. Don lived in the Wollaston area along the Atlantic Ocean until his parents moved to Milton, Massachusetts. Growing up he sailed and raced in Boston Harbor almost every summer weekend. That spiked interest in photography, aircraft and model trains.
Don graduated from Milton High School, Cheshire Academy in Cheshire Connecticut and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University in 1958. After graduation he moved to Akron Ohio, working for Goodyear for nearly 20 years in the development department. Eventually, he transferred to Kelly Springfield as Chief Engineer of truck tires and ultimately transferred back to Goodyear. While at Goodyear and Kelly he was responsible for all technical aspects of tire litigation. This meant educating outside trial counsel retained by Goodyear, representing Goodyear at trials and testifying when necessary. This meant considerable travel to the point Don had traveled to all 50 states, Canada and Japan. He fondly stated that if you picked the names of a main city anywhere in the USA, he had probably been there twice. While working for Goodyear he met his future wife, Judy Sylvester there.
Don started his own company about two years before he resigned from Goodyear. Scientific Tire Systems, Inc was involved in representing tire manufacturers, insurance companies and plaintiffs suing tire manufacturers. This included examination of tires involved in accidents, giving depositions and trial testimony for a period of over 40 years, and Testimony before Congress in the early 1970’s.
Don was a licensed pilot. He was active in macro and regular photography, computers. He attended Oak Hill Presbyterian Church with his wife.
After retirement Don renewed his interest in model trains, sharing this interest with friends locally as well as across the nation. He and Judy spent many happy trips with their train friends.
Don is survived by his wife of 60 years; daughter and son-in-law, Hilary and Todd Deryck, and grandchildren, TJ and Emily of Green, Ohio; son and daughter-in-law, Matt and Kristan Avila, and grandson, Brian of Lancaster, SC, granddaughter, Shannon Avila of Jacksonville, FL, granddaughter, Ashley Avila of Columbus, Ohio; and sister, Carolyn George of Massachusetts.
Per his wishes, graveside services will be held for the immediate family with Pastor Brian Nutt officiating. If friends desire, memorial may be made to The Humane Society of Summit County, 7996 Darrow Rd. Twinsburg, Ohio 44087.
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