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Pat Cunningham, ex-Tiara, Bertram exec, dead at 65

Funeral services were held June 13 in Holland, Mich., for Patrick Daniel Cunningham, a retired Tiara Yachts sales executive and one-time president of Bertram Yachts.

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Cunningham, who was 65, died June 9 in the Cardiovascular Center at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor after a 10-year struggle with heart disease.

Cunningham, a Detroit native who earned a bachelor’s degree at Western Michigan University, was a prominent figure in the marine industry. After serving as Bertram president from 1982 to 1989, he was vice president of sales and marketing for Tiara Yachts until his retirement in 1998. He also was a former member and officer of the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

“Pat was a dear friend and will certainly be missed, not only because of the friendship, but he was a great professional in the industry,” said David Slikkers, CEO of S2 Yachts, Tiara’s parent corporation.

Cunningham went to work for Slikkers’ company in 1991, the year the luxury tax was imposed.

“Pat was not daunted by challenges. This seemed to him to be a significant challenge, but one he could embrace wholeheartedly, and he did an awesome job in working for our company,” Slikkers said. “We experienced a lot together, the company grew and he was a great, great team member.”

Cunningham is survived by his wife of 42 years, Kathie Cunningham; his children, Stephen and Tracy Cunningham of Miami, Sheila and Kevin Pollock of Holland, Mich., and Ryan Cunningham of Kalamazoo, Mich. He also is survived by four grandchildren, Taylor, Brandon and Kurt of Miami; and Hannah of Holland; his sisters, Mary Cunningham of St. Claire Shores, Mich.; Colleen and Frank Escamilla of Mount Clemens, Mich.; Kathy and Bob Lopker of Boca Raton, Fla.; his brother, Michael Cunningham of Harrison Township, Mich.; his sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Mary and John Piccin and Marty and Diana Burke, all of Ocala, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held at St. Francis de Sales Church in Holland, Mich. Memorial contributions made to Children’s Advocacy Center of Ottawa County or to St. Francis de Sales Church.

This article originally appeared in the August 2008 issue.

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