Obituaries

The marine industry mourns the loss of people whose inventiveness and business expertise have been the foundation of its success and helped it grow and prosper.

Industry mourns Swedish offshore racer

Offshore racer Magnus Olsson died Saturday in Spain after he had a stroke during the week and, despite initial positive signs, deteriorated in the following days. He was 64. Since the mid-1960s Magnus “Mange” Olsson lived with his passion for offshore racing. From Swedish national sailing championship regattas in 505s when he was in his…more

Industry mourns Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating founder

Don Backe, who founded Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating to bring boating access to people with disabilities, died Friday at Gilchrest Hospice Care in Columbia, Md., after a prolonged illness. He was 77. Backe was a teacher — not just on a sailboat, where the Annapolis man made a name for himself in recent years, and…more

Industry mourns longtime fishing show host

Complications from recent neck surgery were believed to be a factor in the death of fishing tackle inventor, angling authority, author and longtime TV host Doug Hannon. An icon in the sportfishing world known as the “Bass Professor,” Hannon, 66, had a unique expertise in a range of design skills and academic subjects in and…more

Industry mourns New York marina owner

Frank R. Shumway Jr., 79, of Key Largo, Fla., who raced sailboats and owned Shumway Marine in Rochester, N.Y., died March 7 in Florida. Shumway was a longtime resident of Rochester. He graduated from Princeton University, served as a jet pilot in the Air Force and worked in his father’s business, the Ritter Co. In…more

PT captain who served with JFK dies

John L. Iles Jr., a Shreveport, La., businessman and World War II veteran who served on PT boats with President John F. Kennedy, died last week in a Shreveport retirement village after a recent accident. He was 92. “We’ve lost a real warrior,” fellow World War II veteran and Shreveporter John Fetzer, who piloted P-47…more

Industry mourns longtime California businessman

On Jan. 7, the Southern California yachting community lost a thoughtful voice and an inspirational leader when Charles F. Hathaway succumbed to pneumonia and related complications. He was 86. A prominent figure in the Los Angeles business community for many decades, Hathaway’s proudest achievement was leading the refounding of the California Yacht Club in 1961,…more

Industry mourns Gougeon Brothers co-founder

Jan Clover Gougeon, who founded boatbuilder and epoxy maker Gougeon Brothers with his brothers Meade and Joel in 1960, died Tuesday in Ann Arbor, Mich. He was 67. The company began building boats and iceboats, and found great success in formulating, manufacturing and marketing West System and Pro-Set epoxies for boat construction and repair. A…more

Industry mourns longtime Michigan sales rep

Ronald Funk, who owned Land-O-Lakes Sports Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and later became a manufacturer’s representative, died Nov. 21 in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. He was 74. Funk sold Land-O-Lakes in 1973, and afterward he worked as a sales representative for several boatbuilders, including Harris FloteBote, Evinrude, Princecraft and Starcraft/Monark. Funk and his wife,…more

Industry mourns British marine journalist

Scotland-based Mike Balmforth, one of Yachting Monthly’s longest-serving writers, died at the beginning of December after fighting a long-term illness. Balmforth joined the magazine in the 1960s and recalled his early days in an article published in the centenary issue (May 2006) titled ‘What the Dickens!’ “Only a thorough grounding in Dickens’ London could have…more

Industry mourns Lightning class sailboat builder

Thomas G. Allen III of Amherst, N.Y., an entrepreneur, boatbuilder and champion sailor, died Dec. 6. He was 81. A passionate lover of the Buffalo Canoe Club and his summer home in Bay Beach, Ontario, Allen will be remembered for his ability to build and sail boats. In 1961 he founded the Allen Boat Co.,…more

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