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.

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

Family mourns Connecticut boatbuilder

Connecticut lost a respected boatbuilder when Richard Thomas “Rick” Persson died Feb. 20 at Yale-New Haven Hospital after falling ill at home the preceding week. He was 55. From his youth, Persson worked at the family boatbuilding business in Old Saybrook – his father’s Seth Persson Boat Builders – and for the last 14 years…more

Memorial planned for noted Florida sailor

Family and friends of sailing industry veteran Michael J. Robertson are planning a celebration of life on March 12 for the lifelong sailmaker, sailor and angler, who died Dec. 27 at the age of 59. The memorial cookout will begin at 1 p.m. at Terra Ceia Island Park on Florida’s Terra Ceia Island. A service…more

Former Paradise Marine president dies

Boating industry veteran Robert “Bob” Alan Greenberg of Cherryville, N.C., passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday. From 1989-1994, he was vice president/general manager of the yacht division of Sea Ray Boats in Merritt Island, Fla. For the next eight years, he was the owner and president of Paradise Marine of Melbourne, Fla. From 2002-10, Greenberg was…more

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Noted sportfishing boat designer remembered

Carson R. “Buddy” Davis Jr., who designed and built Carolina-style sportfishing boats from 28 to 78 feet, died Monday at his home in Marathon, Fla., after a lengthy illness, his wife, Barbara, said. He was 62. A native of Manteo, N.C., Davis was the son of Carson Ralph Davis and “Nonnie” Etheridge Davis, and the…more

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