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Tampa Ford dealership owner Ernie Haire III dies at 56

TAMPA — Ernest "Ernie" Haire III, once president of the dominant Ford dealership in Florida, died Saturday, a funeral home said. He was 56.

Mr. Haire was president of Ernie Haire Ford, the north Tampa dealership started by his parents in 1970, from the 1990s until it went out of business in 2009. It is now Elder Ford.

He was a 1973 graduate of Chamberlain High School, an avid golfer and member of the Avila Country Club, according to Blount & Curry Funeral Home.

Survivors include his mother, Mary Haire; sister, Maria Haire; son, Benjamin Haire; and daughter, Victoria Locklear.

His mother was acquitted in 1983 of shooting to death his father, Ernie Haire Jr. After shooting him six times with a gun he had used for bear hunting, she said it was self-defense.

The dealership, a victim of a national sales slump, went under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and was sold in 2009.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Blount & Curry Funeral Home Carrollwood Chapel.

Tampa Ford dealership owner Ernie Haire III dies at 56 08/09/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 1:12am]

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