On the cusp of worldwide acclaim: Lawrence man inducted into Towing Hall of Fame | Merrimack Valley

LAWRENCE — It’s not just about the business Frank Coady built. But also what he’s given away.

Already a 50-plus year legend in the Merrimack Valley, Coady now stands on the cusp of worldwide acclaim.

The owner of Coady’s Garage and towing Services on Marston Street was recently notified he’s being inducted into the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame.

The honor recognizes Coady’s professional milestones and philanthropic dedication.

“For over 50 years Frank Coady has been an innovator, proven his exemplary dedication to the towing industry, exuded leadership to everyone, and has certainly had a lasting effect on the towing Industry and thousands of professionals with whom he has crossed paths,” according to the Hall of Fame induction announcement.

The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame was launched in 1986 to recognize individuals who have made substantial contributions to the towing and recovery industry. Over 300 towing professionals have entered the Hall of Fame to date.

Coady’s tow trucks are visible on local roads and highways but also responding to jobs and incidents throughout Massachusetts and along the eastern seaboard.

Ed Igo, owner of Winn Street Service of Burlington, Mass., nominated Coady for the Hall of Fame. Many of Coady’s now longtime friends and associates volunteered to write letters of recommendation to bolster the nomination.

Noyes noted Coady has always donated “non-profit moves to anywhere in the country.” He has relocated ambulances, fire equipment, airport specialized equipment, police vehicles, recovery vehicles and public transportation vehicles to name a few, he said.

Coady also “regularly has, and still does, donate float ride equipment (flatbeds and trailers) and free transports for non-profit groups’ use in local parades and festivities,” Noyes noted.

Steve Contarino recalled meeting Coady when he was 11-years-old and lived behind Coady’s garage in Lawrence. Contarino loved trucks and Frank invited him into the garage to check things out. Contarino never missed a day afterwards.

“Now, 49 years later, we are still friends, but what he accomplished and taught me is absolutely astounding ... His ‘Ma’am,’ ‘Sir,’ ‘Please,’ and ‘Thank you,’ and always making the customer have a first class experience, and sometimes making less money ... set me up for a 40 year business of my own, up-fitting public service vehicles,” Contarino said.

“Through the years, truck stuck in the mud, super-heavy tows, accidents that put cars and trucks where they never should end up, required expertise. It’s what made the difference and made Coady’s name famous,” he said.

Coady grew up in North Andover, the oldest of seven children. He attended Catholic schools and then pleaded with his parents to allow him to the attend Lawrence Vocational School. He said he has dedicated his life to the profession he loves.

“I am truly grateful to the Towing Hall Fame for this incredible honor. This not only represents my personal journey, but also the collective efforts of my incredible team that today continue to keep our wheels turning as we enter our 52nd year,” Cody said.

“Both my towing family and my immediate family, who have put up with my long hours, missing holidays and events due to roadside emergencies have also earned this award. They have both been by my side from the beginning. It’s been my honor to be able to do what I love and also be able to give back to so many, helping in any way I can.”

Coady will be one of nine installed into the Hall of Fame, including others from the United States, France and Australia, during a a formal ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Westin Hotel in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.

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