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.

Longtime Florida dealer is remembered

William “Pete” Loftin, who launched the Jacksonville, Fla., dealership Outboard Inc. in 1957 and operated it for 41 years, succumbed to cancer on Monday. He was 88. Born William A. Loftin Jr. in North Carolina, he was known simply as Pete by friends and colleagues. He also worked for 13 years with the Evinrude Motors…more

Connecticut charterboat captain is remembered

Industry veteran Capt. Benjamin F. Rathbun of Noank, Conn., died July 31 following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 83. Rathbun ran the charterboat Anna R for more than 30 years. During winters, he worked as a carpenter, delivered boats to various ports, worked aboard the Cross Sound Ferry and built two sportfishing…more

Industry mourns noted yacht designer

Andre J. Bauwens, former chief naval architect of J.B. Hargrave Naval Architects, died June 29. He was 82. In making the announcement, Michael Joyce, chief executive officer of J.B. Hargrave Corp., called Bauwens “one of the key people responsible for building the company’s outstanding reputation in yacht design and engineering.” Born in Brussels, Bauwens moved…more

Former Hunter Marine executive mourned

Jim Bohart, a marine industry veteran of nearly 30 years, died July 13. He was 57. Bohart grew up in Florida, learning to fish, dive and sail. After leaving the Navy in 1985, he joined the Naval Reserves and served six more years. In 1991, Bohart joined Hunter Marine as regional sales manager, and at…more

Marine accessories designer mourned

Frank Theodore Ongaro Jr. of Philadelphia, a designer of marine accessories, died of kidney failure Tuesday at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse. He was 81. From 1996 until retiring in 2008 he headed Ongaro Marine Ltd., which developed and patented stainless steel control arms and knobs for boats and introduced a line of stainless steel electric…more

Funeral set for longtime industry sales rep

Thomas Connolly, founder of manufacturer’s representative Thomas H. Connolly & Sons, died June 12. He was 91. A resident of Franklin Lakes, N.J., Connolly served in the Navy during World War II on the USS Pilot. When he returned from the war, he was invited to work at the W.E. Willis Co., a marine products…more

Coating Technologies founder dies after cancer battle

Harold Marshall Nix Jr., founder of Coating Technologies USA, died May 2 after a long battle with cancer. He was 57. The inventor of Bristol Finish High Performance Wood Coatings started formulating Bristol Finish in the late 1980s when he couldn’t find a wood coating for his sailboat that could withstand the Florida sun. “Through…more

Wasatch Marine owner mourned

Frank Walker, owner of Wasatch Marine in Salt Lake City and Newport Beach, Calif., died last Thursday. He was 53. His obituary stated: “The most important thing in Frank’s life was his family. He adored them all. Frank could always be counted on to be the biggest fan of his sons, grandsons, nephews and nieces.”…more

Well-known California sailor remembered

Gerry Driscoll, a world-famous competitive sailor and California marine industry icon, died March 12 at his home. He was 86. John Gerald Driscoll III was a seventh-generation Californian, a longtime resident of San Diego and a member of the San Diego Yacht Club, The Log newspaper reported. Driscoll and his brother, Harlan, opened a boatyard…more

Industry sales veteran mourned

Industry veteran George Shaw passed away March 19 at his home in Macomb Township, Mich. He was 86. Shaw, a Navy veteran of World War II, worked in the marine industry for 43 years. He served as sales manager at Gray Marine, which was later bought by Crusader Marine, and also Thermo Electron. He retired…more

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