Northeast Florida’s ‘Mr. Boating’ dies

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John T. Lowe, known in northeast Florida as “Mr. Boating” for his work on behalf of recreational marine interests, died Tuesday morning due to complications from a fall a month ago. He was 79.

A three-time past president of the Marine Industries Association of Florida, Lowe devoted more than 40 years to ensure people’s access to Florida’s waters. He also promoted recreational boating safety as well as the state’s natural resources as boosts to tourism, according to an article in The Florida Times-Union.

Lowe, who worked full time in the recreational marine industry after retiring in 1971 from a 21-year career as a Jacksonville police officer, was a highly respected lobbyist who kept an eye on legislation proposed in Tallahassee affecting boating consumers’ interests.

He also served as the executive vice president of the Jacksonville Marine Association. Lowe served on the Florida Boating Advisory Council, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Manatee Recovery Team, the State of Florida Blue Ribbon Marina Committee, the Jacksonville Marine Institute and was a founding board member of the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament.

He also served on the Duval County Tourist Development Council for 16 years and was a member of the Jacksonville Waterways Commission.

A past commodore of the Jacksonville Outboard Club, Lowe received numerous honors during his marine career, including the 1978 Irv Rosenthal Award presented by the Marine Retailers Association of America for outstanding contributions to the marine retailing business.

He also received the 1978 Charles F. Chapman Award, given only once before to Ralph Evinrude, for “distinguished service to the sport of boating.” The presentation was made at the New York National Boat Show by the National Association of Engine and Boat Manufacturers and Motorboating & Sailing magazine.

Click here for the full article.


5 comments on “Northeast Florida’s ‘Mr. Boating’ dies

  1. Wilson Wright

    Sorry to hear of John’s passing. I enjoyed his conversations at Fl. Boating Advisory Council meetings. He was very passionate about boating.

  2. Jim Gallagher

    John Lowe was always a warm caring, helpful,gentleman. He always made the exhibitors at the Jacksonville boat show feel welcome and worked hard to make it a success. Even after the show’s demise he would always greet you warmly and enthusiastiaclly. A true gentleman and a good friend . I will miss him

  3. Pete Loftin

    A great man of integrity and honesty- one dedicated totally to the betterment of the marine industry- JohnT. Lowe was a stalwart and a wonderful addition to the industry. I had the pleasure of being a friend and an associate for some fifty plus years in many circumstances and I can vouch of his sincere dedication. It was certainly evident in his work ethenic and the unending  times he continually performed in his day to day activities regarding his commitments  John will be missed, and his legacy will remain with many of us who were fortunate to have been associated.

  4. Ron Carey

    John was a true friend and mentor. His passion for boating was second to none in our great state of Florida. He will truly be missed. 

  5. Jill Haskell

    Mr. Lowe will be greatly missed.  All boaters of Florida have lost a truly dedicated advocate.  He was a mentor to my entire family and I pray we can all uphold the standards he has set for us.  He has left us a very valuable legacy. I will never forget him, or his golf cart.

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