John Breslin passed away at his home in New Haven, CT on Nov. 20, 2012 after a brief illness.
A retired Armstrong Rubber Company executive, Bresline was born in New York City on Aug. 2, 1923 to the late Margaret Schreiber and Hugh Breslin and grew up in Williston Park, NY at a time when farms and grand estates were neighbors.
He graduated from the original Mineola High School and was the first person to receive a perfect score in geography on the New York State Regents Exam.
In 1942, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps assigned to weather intelligence. Breslin served in England, France and Germany, working behind enemy lines to obtain accurate weather forecasts. He was among the first Americans to enter Seurre, France after liberation and made lifelong friendships there. Encouraged by his wartime buddies and with help from the GI Bill, he enrolled in Johns Hopkins University as an economics major. Breslin was also elected president of his fraternity, Beta Theta Phi.
After his graduation, he joined U.S. Rubber Company in New York as an executive and was recruited by Armstrong Rubber Company in West Haven as director of market research its successor company Armtek, where he became the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Breslin worked to establish the firm as one of the largest U.S. tire manufacturers, building a network of national and international distributorships, recruiting sports celebrities like Arthur Ashe, Roger Staubach and Tom Watson to serve as spokespersons and leading the company to open markets across the globe.
During his tenure, Armstrong rose to become a Fortune 500 Company and was ultimately purchased by Pirelli Tire in 1986.
Breslin was an avid golfer and longtime member of Racebrook Country Club. At college, he developed a keen interest in biblical history, and after retirement offered a seminar series at Our Lady of Assumption Church in Woodbridge where he was a communicant. He was also the first chair of the Conservation Commission Orange where he helped in the purchase of the Wepawaug Conservation Area by the town.
During his career and retirement, he enjoyed travel throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, Egypt, and Israel.
Breslin is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ruth Lyall Breslin and his daughter, Alexandra (Sandy) Breslin, both of Bethany; his sisters, Betty Breslin, Maureen Munoz; his brother, Eugene Breslin of Long Island, and his brother and sister-in-law George and Ingrid Lyall of Florida, along with many wonderful nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his sister Miriam and brother-in-law, Michael O'Keefe.
Relatives and friends may call Friday from 4-7pm at the Iovanne Funeral Home at 11 Wooster Place and are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial in Our Lady of Assumption Church, Center Rd., Woodbridge, on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. A private burial will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Our Lady of Assumption Church, 81 Center Rd., Woodbridge or to the Bethany Land Trust, PO Box 3706, Woodbridge, CT 06525.