Former Mohawk Regional Sales Representative Jimmy W. Starr passed away last weekend in Dothan, AL. Jimmy represented Mohawk in the Southeastern states from 1984 until his retirement in the Spring of 2001.
A veteran of Trailways, Starr covered the Southeastern United States. Based out of his home in Ellijay, Georgia most of those years, Starr and his wife relocated to Fort Gaines, Georgia a few years into his retirement. He is survived by his children and his loving wife Jeanette.
The below article came from the Summer 2001 Mohawk Quarterly newsletter:
Jimmy Starr invested 50 years of his life into the bus industry.
After retiring in May, Starr is finally getting around to things he has put on hold for years.
Starr, of Ellijay, Ga., had been Mohawk's Southeast Regional Representative since 1984. After 17 years of crisscrossing the South for Mohawk — and building some close associations in the industry — Starr cannot just put his feet up. He has some work to do.
"I'm spending time getting things done that I've wanted to get done," said Starr from his home.
Starr's association with Mohawk goes back 20 years before becoming a Mohawk representative in 1984.
"Back in the 1960s, (former Mohawk rep) Parker Fry would call on me when I worked for Trailways in Miami," Starr said. "At 1:05 every Friday, (former Mohawk VP) Tom Brown would call me and I'd give him an order. We built a heck of a rapport."
As Starr moved from Tallahassee to Miami to Atlanta to Wichita, Kan., he continued to turn to Mohawk. And at times, Mohawk turned to him.
"One day Tom Brown called me to get an Eagle parts number on wheel studs," Starr said. "I started to rattle them off. I was joking when I told him that he should give me a job."
When Tom Brown called Starr back 30 minutes later, he wasn't joking. Mohawk needed a Southeastern Regional Representative and wanted to interview Starr. When Starr came to Niles for the interview, he knew he wanted to work for Mohawk.
And he served the company well in his 17 years.
"I wouldn't take anything for the time I spent at Mohawk," Starr said. "The traveling was hectic at times, but after two or three visits, I'd develop a rapport with a customer. That's the part I'll miss."
Starr never worked in sales before working for Mohawk. He was always a parts man in his days with Trailways.
"I always looked at myself as a representative, not a salesman," Starr said.
It turned out he sold bus parts very well. But he was an even better representative of the company. One of Starr's final trips was a trip to the Pennsylvania Transit Association with (then-Northeast Regional Representative) Lee Amand this Spring (2001).
Starr went to Gettysburg, a train museum in Stroudsburg, the Hershey plant and museum in Hershey, and then visited New York.
"I wanted to see the Northeast and New York City," Starr said. "It was great Mohawk let me do it."