FREMONT - Albert Daniel Hetrick, Sr., 87, who owned used and new car dealerships here for more than three decades, died Thursday in the Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus.
The family did not know the cause of death. He had been ill for several months, his daughter, Sandra Gnepper, said.
Mr. Hetrick enjoyed cars and people, and that led him to a career selling vehicles.
"He knew everything about cars, and the people in Fremont loved him," Mrs. Gnepper said.
Mr. Hetrick owned Al Hetrick Used Cars on State Street. He also sold new Oldsmobiles and Buicks in the late 1950s and early 1960s and new Dodge and Plymouths in the early 1950s.
Daughter Penny Fausey said he preferred selling used cars to new cars because he didn't have to work with the corporations.
"He was one of those rare individuals who really went out of his way to help people, and he could do that a lot better if he had total control," she said.
He got his start in the auto business when he was in his early teens, washing cars at dealerships. He started his own after World War II.
In the late 1970s, he bought the Globe Restaurant, which was on State Street next to his dealership. He retired in 1981, then sold real estate part time.
Mr. Hetrick graduated from Ross High School in 1935. He married Cleone Bickley in 1938, eloping to Kentucky shortly before she graduated from high school. She died in 1997.
He joined the Army Air Corps, serving as a gunner on a B-29 bomber in the Philippines during World War II.
He was past president of the local Chamber of Commerce and the local chapter of the American Diabetes Association. Mrs. Fausey said he believed in community service and instilled that in his children.
"He went out of his way to help other people," she said.
Surviving are his son, Ernest; daughters, Sandra Gnepper, Penny Fausey, and Patricia Semer; 12 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren.
The body will be in the Hermen-Kinn-Karlovetz Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. today. Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in St. John's Lutheran Church, following a viewing there at 10 a.m. The family suggests tributes to the church or the American Diabetes Association.