Thursday, 21 April 2011 16:02

Collision Repairers in Texas Mourn the Loss of Bob English—Founder, English Color

The collision industry lost one of its leading members at the end of March; James Robert “Bob” English, Jr., founder of English Color in the southern US.

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Bob was raised in Dallas, and took great pride in having graduated from Texas A&M University, Class of ‘46, with a Business degree. Bob was known by his friends for his love of a good Aggie joke, so much so that he was given the nickname “Aggie Bob”, which was how he was identified for decades.

“Bob was just a core Aggie,” said Michael McCabe with English Color, “Our corporate office in Richardson flies the American flag and the Texas A&M flag right below it.”

Bob was an accomplished businessman who founded English Color & Supply, Inc. in 1946. The company has evolved from selling automotive batteries out of a panel truck to becoming one of the largest distributors of automotive paint and supplies with 41 locations in 6 states and representing products from over 100 suppliers. Even after Bob’s retirement, he continued to have an active role in an advisory capacity and strived to maintain a personal relationship with his dedicated employees.

 

“For our 60th anniversary, Bob designed a gold coin to give to all the employees to thank them for helping him achieve 60 years. Along with a coin for every employee, (approximately 250) he gave each employee 60 brand new One Dollar Bills. Bob wanted to shake the hand of every employee (sales reps, managers, counter personnel, delivery drivers, etc) and thank them for their support,” said Jim English, Bob’s son and English Color’s current Chairman.

English Color has locations serving customers in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas.

“This was his business, that became a family business when his son Jim and son-in-law Phil came on board, then Robert our VP was a neighbor kid, then his grandson Jeff ... to round out the “family” business. Bob English made us all feel like family and we want to stay around,” said Monique Flener, Sales and Marketing Coordinator with English Color.

English Color was originally known as English Bros. After graduating from Texas A&M Bob borrowed $1,100 from his parents to start his own business. The name “English Bros.” was chosen because two of Bob’s father’s brothers had a surplus sign by that name that they had used in their business, and they were no longer using it. They let Bob use it at no cost.

Bob’s biggest investment when he started out was a half-ton panel truck.

Bob’s father was Southwest Sales Manager for the National Battery Company, so that’s why he started out selling automobile batteries.

Bob purchased the panel truck to carry inventory until he could establish a location, which he eventually found in Frisco, Texas.

Bob fell into the paint supply business just as the battery supply part of the business began to grow.

He was exploring other automotive supply options when he decided to dabble in becoming a Paint Representative, and English Color Supply was born.

Bob worked tirelessly as an active leader in the automotive industry and his community, in which he was honored to receive many distinguished awards.

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