Ernest H. Zielasko, the retired co-founder, editor and publisher of Rubber & Plastics News, died of cancer Dec. 13. He was 84.
A resident of Hudson since 1964, Zielasko co-founded RPN in 1971 and sold the Akron-based publication to Crain Communications Inc. in 1976, where he worked for 10 years, retiring as vice president of the company's Rubber Industry Publications, while continuing to serve as editor and publisher of RPN.
Following his retirement, he continued as a freelance writer and public relations consultant with the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers in Houston.
Zielasko began his journalism career in 1947 after joining BF Goodrich Rubber Co. in Akron as a public relations writer. He then spent 13 years at Modern Tire Dealer magazine, where he was editor and publisher.
He attended the University of Iowa for three years before being drafted into the U.S. Army. He spent five years in the service and was part of the 35th Infantry Division serving in the World War II European theater of operations. He was discharged from the Army as a captain in 1945 and returned to finish his college education at Ohio State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in English.
Zielasko earned numerous honors, including the John S. Knight Award for journalism from the Buckeye Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 1985.
He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society in 1986.
In 1993, he was elected into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame by the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association.
He also authored a book, Jeff's Denial, a self-published memoir of his son Jeff's fight against leukemia.
Survivors include his wife, Mary, and sons Philip and David, who is publisher of Crain's Tire Business in Akron.