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First Female Toyota Dealership Owner Dies at 85

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A female pioneer in the automotive industry, Joyce Maloof, who was the first female Toyota dealership owner in the United States, passed away on New Year’s Eve at 85. She was buried at Parkhill Cemetery, in Columbus, Georgia.

When Joyce Maloof’s husband, Harold, fell sick (and eventually passed away) in the 1960s, Joyce took over Maloof’s Motor Co, becoming one of only two female new-car dealers in the US at the time. According to an article in the Ledger-Enquirer, Maloof’s Motor Co. also sold Chrysler and BMW vehicles over the years; in addition, the company operated a used car lot, as well as a parts and service business, complete with a muffler shop, all of which was overseen by Joyce.

“I wouldn’t advise a woman to tackle a job traditionally done by a man,” Maloof commented in a 1980 interview with the Ledger-Enquirer. “An executive is supposed to be smart, but men tend to resent smart women. People will test a woman, to see if she can be pushed around. It’s tough, but I enjoy it.”

While Maloof’s major responsibilities lay in the automotive industry, she also made time for serving the community. She was active with her city’s Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau and served as the chairwoman of Columbus’ review board. She even ran for a city council post back in the 1980s.

“You get out of life what you put into it,” Maloof commented in the article from 1980. “An effective person must be dedicated at work, and not watch the clock for quitting time. You have to take time for people.”

Thanks for taking the time, Joyce, and congratulations on your life achievements, both in the dealership and outside of it.