Volume 13, Issue 6 - November/December 2011

Feature

Remembering Ray Asbery

 

The industry lost one of its great innovators on September 27, when Ray Asbery, founder of Equalizer Industries, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Round Rock, Texas.

Asbery, 67, began his career in the auto glass industry with Autoglass and Upholstery of Louisville, Ky., where he worked for many years before moving to Austin, Texas, in 1986 to work for Globe Glass. When he left the company, he founded Equalizer, along with a series of devices for auto glass removal. His company, Equalizer Industries, is now a world-renowned operation, and Asbery himself held more than 20 patents in 15 different countries.

“This job was not a job, it was love,” recalls one of Asbery’s closest associates, Equalizer vice president of sales Gilbert Gutierrez, who worked with him for more than 20 years. “He loved the industry, and he taught me that.”

In Asbery’s spare time, he had a passion for building and flying model airplanes. He also had a special affinity for American history and was especially a Civil War buff. His son, Eric Asbery, president of Equalizer, spoke about this topic during a service celebrating Asbery’s life on October 3.

“He knew every battle and every leader of those battles,” recalled Eric Asbery.

Asbery’s family says he could often be found engaged in conversation with fascinated friends and family while speaking of fact-filled opinions of the Civil War era to current business successes, world history and life lessons.

Asbery is survived by his wife of 46 years, Clare; his son, Eric, along with his wife, Cindy, their children, Robert, Ashlee, Lindsey and Carson, and a great-granddaughter, Leila, all of Round Rock; a daughter, Wendy Schneider, her husband, Jeff, and their children, Jessica, Jordan and Alyssa, of New Braunfels, Texas. In addition, his extended family includes more than 35 employees of Equalizer and their families, and his loyal friend and companion, his beloved dog, Molly.

In the days and weeks following Asbery’s death the industry saw an outpouring of remembrances, stories and thoughts about Asbery and the legacy he left in the auto glass industry. At right you’ll see many of these.


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