Billy Aiton Reflects on Four Decades in TintJanuary 3rd, 2024 by Casey Flores
“I am not sad with my life at all.”
That’s the attitude you’ll find in Billy Aiton, owner of Pro-Tech Window Tinting in Scottsdale, Arizona, who just learned on December 23 that he has stage 4 cancer and has a few months to live.
“I have cirrhosis of the liver from when I was 15 I gave myself a tattoo,” he says. “The virus did a number on my liver and people with viral cirrhosis usually get cancer.”
The first thing that went through his mind when he learned of the diagnosis was, “What the f***?!” he laughs.
Aiton, 55, has been a valued member of the industry since his teens. He’s watched it change and grow over the years. With a desire to impart what he’s learned to the next generation of tinters, Aiton took over the Facebook group Window Tinters United in 2014 when it had 950 members. It now has nearly 11,000. That didn’t come without some effort.
“People were just cutting each other down,” he says of the group. “I said ‘this isn’t how we build each other up.’”
Beyond that, Aiton has had a longtime presence at industry gatherings. A staple at tinting competitions, he says after a while they stopped inviting him, “I’d just smoke them,” he chuckles.
Aiton’s been around long enough to see the industry change significantly.
He recalls the days when manufacturers did not want them to use a heat gun to shrink film.
“Sometimes we’d have to cut film as small as three-inch strips,” to complete installations. “You had to have a hell of a hand cut. Those skills were important.”
There were no scratch-resistant coatings on the films when he started, he adds.
Aiton says some of his favorite moments in the business throughout the years were at the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Offs™.
“The WFCTs showed me I was a part of a family that I didn’t know I had,” he says—specifically reminiscing about the Haunted Pub Crawl that was held at a San Antonio event.
Aiton won a full registration to the 2022 event after submitting a video recalling memories he had at past shows.
Ten years ago, Aiton switched his business focus entirely to flat glass. In light of the news, he’s now talking to people about selling the enterprise he’s built.
“I have a lot of people interested in my business,” he says. “I ran it boutique-style so it’s a lot of pen and paper bookkeeping. I’m going to quick-sale it. That should prop my wife up.”
Aiton may have a short time left on earth, but his spirits aren’t down. Rather than come across as sad, he’s almost jovial and extremely proud when discussing the legacy he’s left.
“Everything seems to have worked out real good,” he says. “The Tinters for a Cause – helping those tinters who were killed last month – it just goes to show you we did it. We took this place to a whole other level and I’m excited for you guys. I wish I was able to be a part of it more later – and I may still. I ain’t dead yet!”
In reflecting on his life and noting he has so many letters and messages he hasn’t had time to get to them all, he says, “it’s making me think, ‘You did good, Billy.’ I wanted to leave the world a better place and I did. So thank you. I just want to tell them thank you – to all of them.”
Aiton is a longtime subscriber and contributor to Window Film magazine. We’ve compiled a list of articles in which he’s quoted or has left comments—they are below: