Al O’Meara, Jr.
Alfred O’Meara, Jr. was the second generation in what has become one of Colorado’s oldest and most enduring automotive families. After two years at Notre Dame University, 19-year-old Al, Jr. returned in 1938 to steer the dealership his father began in 1913 into the future.
When Pearl Harbor was bombed, the O’Mearas bought up every available part, a strategy that kept O’Meara Ford alive while Ford manufactured war materiel instead of cars.
Al joined the Navy in 1942, serving as skipper of a Saipan-based LCT troop carrier and escaping a Japanese kamikaze bombing raid. He rejoined the dealership in 1946, continuing his education at the University of Denver.
Al built on his father’s successes to become a success in his own right. He chaired CADA, the Metro Denver Automobile Dealers Association and served as national chair of the Ford Dealer Council in 1955 and 1972. He also chaired the Ford Dealer Advertising Association. His leadership roles led to being named Colorado’s nominee for the 1975 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year.
Al made a critical decision in 1968 to move the dealership from its location in downtown Denver to a larger space in unincorporated Adams County at 104th and I-25 — now Northglenn. That year, O’Meara and son Brian, who had joined him in the business, sold the family’s heavy truck franchise to O’Meara’s brother and his son, since Ford would not allow the brothers to be partners in each other’s business.
O’Meara’s strong Catholic faith led to supporting the Little Sisters of the Poor Queen of Heaven Orphanage. He also chaired the Colorado Business Pioneers’ O’Fallon Trust and served on the boards of Loretto Heights and Regis Colleges, Blue Cross and Blue Shield and St. Joseph Hospital. He founded a yearly scholarship at the University of Denver for Colorado Native American students.
O’Meara helped to train 19 young men who became dealers themselves. His son, Brian, carries on the tradition with three sons active in the O’Meara dealerships.