The Brunswick Boat Group said Monday that it was deeply saddened by the death of David Kirkland, vice president of commercial operations for Lowe Boats, who died Thursday at his home in Lebanon, Mo. He was 59.
“David’s contributions over the past few decades to Lowe Boats and to the Brunswick Boat Group leave a lasting impact on the boating industry,” the company said.
In 1988 Kirkland went to work for Lowe on the assembly line. He held many positions there and the company said he cared deeply for his fellow employees.
When Lowe became part of Brunswick Corp. in 2004, Kirkland served as a senior vice president of freshwater sales, dramatically expanding Brunswick’s aluminum fishing and pontoon boat presence and market share in the South. He was then promoted to the position he held at the time of his death.
“For those who shared only brief encounters with him, it took no time at all to experience David’s kindness and energy,” Lowe Boats president Ben Cast said. “While David was a remarkable husband, father and grandfather, he is a legend at Lowe Boats. David spent nearly 27 years working directly with or around Lowe Boats. He had an incredible passion for this business, its people and its products. While his presence will be sorely missed, he has left a great legacy that will extend far into the future.”
Marine dealers, manufacturing personnel, brand staff and Brunswick executives looked to Kirkland for insights into sales, marketing and product development. The company said he was responsible for many innovative product enhancements and revolutionary promotions.
“David’s energy and passion for the Lowe brand made him an ideal candidate and ally to help the Lowe management team take their business to new heights over the past few years,” added Jeff Kinsey, president of Brunswick’s Freshwater Boat Group. “And his loyalty to the Lowe brand and its employees served as a tremendous role model for others to follow.”