NASCAR insurer John Naughton passes By Dave Rodman PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Aug. 15, 2000) John Naughton, 70, president of Naughton Insurance of East Providence and a longtime friend and business associate of NASCAR's founding France family, passed...
NASCAR insurer John Naughton passes
By Dave Rodman
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Aug. 15, 2000) John Naughton, 70, president of Naughton Insurance of East Providence and a longtime friend and business associate of NASCAR's founding France family, passed away Tuesday morning at Rhode Island Hospital following a brief illness. Bill and Jim France, the president and executive vice president, respectively, for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing were particularly touched by Naughton's passing.
Naughton, a native of New York City, had continued as the head of the agency that was one of America's largest and oldest specialists for the motorsports industry until his illness, which resulted in his hospitalization last Friday. He was an early supporter and friend of NASCAR founder William H.G. France and his wife, Anne and maintained a relationship with the family from the earliest days of NASCAR to the present.
"We are saddened to hear today's news regarding John Naughton," the France brothers said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. "John was a very close and dear friend of our father and that relationship continued with the two of us throughout the years.
"NASCAR and American motorsports have lost one of their pioneers as John and his family were among the original developers of insurance programs for American motorsports. We extend our heart and prayers to the entire Naughton family as we all feel this terrible loss."
Naughton is survived by his wife, Barbara (Jones) Naughton; sons John F. Naughton Jr. of Kennebunk, Maine, Michael C. Naughton of Montclair, N.J. and Kevin J. Naughton of Barrington, R.I.; stepsons Kevin J. Vanier and John P. Vanier Jr. of Barrington; stepdaughters Karen J. King of Middletown, R.I. and Marcie Williams of Portsmouth, R.I.; and 15 grandchildren.
His first wife, Mary E. (Delahunt) Naughton, predeceased Naughton. He was born on March 4, 1930 and was the son of the late John and Gladys (Lennon) Naughton.
"John was a very nice gentleman, who was a very close to both Bill and Anne," said Bill France Sr.'s longtime assistant, Bob Mauk. "That relationship had continued with the rest of the family and I never heard anything but nice words about him."
Naughton, who served as president of Naughton Insurance for 43 years, was a pioneer in developing specialty insurance programs for the motorsports and amusement park industries. He had earned national recognition as a leader in both those fields and was well respected in both the domestic and foreign insurance markets.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in the Korean conflict, earning the Korean service medal with two bronze stars. Naughton was past president of the New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions and had served on the Presidents Council of Providence College.
Visitation will be held on Thursday from 4-8 p.m. at the Hambly Funeral Home; "Brick House;" 30 Red Cross Ave.; Newport, R.I. Funeral services will be held on Friday at 9 a.m. from the Hambly Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Mary's Church on Spring St. in Newport.
Burial will follow in Gate of Heaven, Wampanoag Trail, East Providence.
Memorial donations may be made in Naughton's memory to the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center; 550 North Broadway; Suite 801; Baltimore, MD 21205-2009.