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Asheville - Frank D. Saylor III, 83, of 742 Bear Left, Asheville, died Friday, June 27, 2014, at his home.
He was formerly president of Loom Products, Inc., in Asheville and Frank D. Saylor & Son, Inc., of Birmingham and Clarkston, Michigan. He had lived in Asheville for more than 30 years. He was born in Highland Park, Michigan, on July 10, 1930, to Frank D. Saylor, Jr., and Florence Cutler Saylor. His father lost his job on the day he was born. In the depths of the Depression, his father and grandfather founded a company in a garage to manufacture woven conduit and tubing for automobiles, known as wire loom. After attending high school in Royal Oak, Michigan, he graduated from Michigan State University in 1952 and entered the army, from which he was discharged as a first lieutenant in 1954. He then joined the family manufacturing business. For many years he lived in Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, outside of Detroit.
In 1980 he purchased the wire loom business of Wire Mold, Inc., and moved the operation to Asheville to a factory at 123 Sweeten Creek Road. Eventually he consolidated the Michigan operations with the business in Asheville. At its peak the company manufactured a million feet of tubing a week. The company ceased operations in 2002.
He moved to the Chunns Cove area of Asheville in 1983. He was a board member of Helpmate, a provider of services for victims of domestic abuse, and served two terms on the Buncombe County Board of Health. He was also formerly a member of the Civitan Club of Asheville.
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Margaret (Pegge) Thiessen Saylor. An earlier marriage, to Elizabeth MacKay Saylor, ended in divorce. He is also survived by his children, Nancy (Robert) Eitzen, of Cedar, Michigan; Frank Dennis Saylor IV (Addie Fiske) of Weston, Massachusetts; and Laura (John) McCallion, of Roswell, Georgia; his stepchildren, Pamela Rinehart and Patrice Johnson, both of Asheville; his grandchildren, Carolyn Eitzen; John, Charles, and Alexander Saylor; Jack, Joseph, and David McCallion; and Robert and Samuel Harshbarger; two great-grandchildren; his sister, Janet (Daniel) Bronson, of Centennial, Colorado; and many nieces and nephews. His brother, James (Millie Brock) Saylor, of Birmingham, Michigan, predeceased him.
He loved automobiles, trains, boats, and all things mechanical. He particularly loved antique cars, and was an active member of the Veteran Motor Car Club of America (for which he served as a national director and chapter president), the Horseless Carriage Club of America, and the Blue Ridge Packards club. Over the course of his life he owned a 1917 Stanley, two 1910 Stanleys, a 1909 Buick, and a 1928 Ford Model A. His biggest favorite, however, was his big green 1912 Packard, in which he toured all over the United States and Canada. In 1992 he shipped the Packard to New Zealand to attend a rally and tour and then he and Pegge drove the car back from the west coast to North Carolina. He also loved history, particularly Civil War history, travel, and boating. He and Pegge spent many happy weeks sailing in the Great Lakes, Florida, and the Bahamas.
He was a warm and generous man who was known for his hearty laugh. Although he had contracted polio and then diabetes while in his twenties, and suffered many complications over the course of his life, he never let his illnesses prevent him from enjoying life to the fullest. He will be badly missed by his family and friends.
Service will be Aug. 2nd, 2 pm at Jubilee Community. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Manna Food Bank of Asheville.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times from June 30 to July 2, 2014