John Kaburick, owner of Earl L. Henderson Trucking and former chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association, died last week at age 61.

Born in Carlinville, Ill., Kaburick graduated from Carlinville High School in 1971.

Kaburick’s career in the motor carrier industry began in 1973 when he was an owner operator with just one truck. Two years later, he and a partner launched a small trucking company that quickly grew into a 30-truck fleet. In 1977, Kaburick left the company to work as a salesman for a local truck dealership. In 1990, he purchased Earl L. Henderson Trucking from one of his longtime customers.

By the time he was named TCA chairman in 2010, the company had grown from 125 tractors and 145 temperature-controlled trailers to more than 400 tractors and nearly 600 dry van and reefer trailers. He was known for his straightforward leadership style.

Over the years, Kaburick served on many TCA panels and committees, including the ATA Affiliation Task Force, Benchmarking Management Panel, Carrier/Shipper Relations Committee, Committee on Operating Practices, Highway Policy Committee, "Just in Time" (Improving Efficiency on the Docks) Management Panel, Membership Committee, Regulatory Policy Committee, and TCA Communications & Image Policy Committee.

He also was actively involved in the American Trucking Associations and the Illinois Transportation Association.

Kaburick was preceded in death by his parents, John W. Sr. and Lois (nee Harms) Kaburick, and a sister.

Surviving are his wife, Carolyn Suem (nee Adcock) Kaburick, who he married in 1973; sons Rodney Cameron, Clayton Cameron, and Joshua Kaburick (chief operating office of Henderson), as well as eight grandchildren, two brothers, and several nieces and nephew.

Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association.

TCA Vice President Debbie Sparks also suggested to members in an email that they may wish to honor Kaburick's memory by donating to a fund to establish a scholarship in his name.

At TCA's annual convention last month, the TCA Scholarship Fund announced a new program to help raise funds for deserving students while honoring the association's former chairmen: The TCA Past Chairmen's Fund. The goal of this program is to establish new scholarships named after each of our former chairmen. A total of $50,000 donated in the name of a past chairman will be needed to launch his namesake scholarship.
Josh Kaburick, John's son and the fund's current chairman, took the first step toward the founding of a scholarship in his father's name with a $10,000 donation.

"Now, with John's passing, all of us at TCA encourage you to help Josh, his family, and the staff at Earl L. Henderson Trucking Company honor his dad," Sparks said.