George Naab, Former Road Machinery President, Dies

Mon January 08, 2007 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

George A. Naab, 86, former president of Road Machinery Inc., died on Monday, Dec. 18, 2006.

The son of John and Mary Naab, George was born on Oct. 17, 1920 in Philadelphia, Pa., where he graduated from La Salle College High School. His college career, however, was cut short by his enlistment in the Army Air Force during World War II. While in the military, George served as a navigator and bombardier. He was honorably discharged in November 1945.

After returning home from military service, George went to work for General Electric and then for an air compressor company. In 1946, he began his career as a district manager of Schramm Air Compressors, serving clients in the Midwest and later in New England and New York State.

George and Mary McDonald were married in 1948. They made their home in the Lafayette Hill section of Philadelphia along with their five children, John, George Jr., David, Laura and Christina.

In 1950, George was employed as assistant manager of PCO, a distributor of air compressors, located near Broad Street and Belfield Avenue in Philadelphia, Pa., eventually becoming manager.

In 1959, George joined Road Machinery Inc. as a sales manager. Over his 41 years with the company, he also held positions of vice president, president and vice chairman.

“He [George Naab] was responsible for realigning the sales emphasis, giving equal weight to municipal, industrial and contractor sales. In 1963, as a result of George’s effort, the company acquired the Galion dealership for rollers, graders and hydraulic cranes,” according to a 1989 company newsletter.

Also through his business acumen, the company took on the Grove and Manitowoc Crane lines.

George enjoyed working for Road Machinery because it was a family business and he liked dealing with people, said Dave Naab, who worked with his dad for 20 years.

George’s philosophy to “treat people fairly, his pleasant demeanor and the fact that he truly enjoyed people, were the secrets of his success,” Dave added.

After his retirement from Road Machinery in 1990, George worked for Dooling Tire as well as a travel agency.

His long association with the construction industry also included two terms (1960 and 1961) as president of the Delaware Valley Associated Equipment Distributors. He also served on several equipment manufacturers’ advisory councils including Galion and Volvo.

George also was active in his church. He served on the Parish Council and was part of the parish’s Financial Group.

After spending most of his life in Lafayette Hill, George and Mary moved to Willow Valley in 1994 where he enjoyed playing golf and billiards. The Naabs were married for 57 years when Mary died in 2005.

A testament to his fondness for people can be seen in a story just before he died.

“When a nurse came to check on my dad she said, ’You were asleep yesterday when I came in,’ to which he replied, ’If I knew you were coming, I would have stayed awake,’” said Dave.

In addition to his five children, George leaves behind 10 grandchildren.

Family and friends were invited to a Mass of Christian Burial at the St. Philip the Apostle Church in Lancaster on Dec. 21 and at the St. Philip Neri Church in Lafayette Hill, on Dec. 22. A private interment followed at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Cheltenham, Pa.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested that contributions be made to WVRC Nursing Education Fund, Attn: Bookkeeper, 600 Willow Valley Square, Lancaster, Pa., 17602, or Hospice of Lancaster County, 685 Good Dr., Lancaster, Pa., 17604-4125.

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