Industry mourns Forespar sales executive

Longtime sailing industry professional William Mosher died unexpectedly on July 3 of complications from sleep apnea.

Longtime sailing industry professional William Mosher died unexpectedly on July 3 of complications from sleep apnea. He was 67 and only weeks away from his 68th birthday.

A passionate boater, Mosher became a beloved figure in the marine industry, according to Forespar, where he had worked since 1995. He held several high-profile positions and became an icon through his dedication and generosity to the people and sport he loved.

Mosher’s lifelong career in the marine industry began in 1979 when he became the first executive director of the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center. It was a fledgling community outreach project at the time, but Mosher helped turn it into a community program that is nationally recognized for creating unique sailing programs and fundraisers that benefit youth, physically challenged and financially disadvantaged sailors.

After he left the day-to-day position in 1985, he served on the board of the sailing center, including a term as president.

From 1987 to 1995, Mosher became known throughout the industry as national sales director for Harken. He also serviced the sales needs of its distribution network and helped introduce numerous product innovations.

In 1995 he became the Midwest wholesale and store manager for BoatUS in Milwaukee.

He joined Forespar as sales and marketing director in 2000 to oversee its nationwide sales force of independent reps and to coordinate all advertising, media, promotions and shows.

He also served on Sail America’s board from 2008 to 2010.

Mosher became known for his extensive network of friends and contacts.

"Bill's extensive experience and knowledge of the marine market will be truly missed,” Forespar president Scott Foresman said in a statement. “He was an integral part of the Forespar team and a true friend to us all. It's often said that the man with the most friends wins. If that is the case, Bill was truly a winner."

Mosher is survived by his partner, Patty Matheson, his children Morgan (Megan) and Brandy Mosher, and Patty’s children, Andrea (Ryan) Benson, Jena (Jesse) Rutherford and Susie. He was the proud grandpa of Katelyn, Rory and Kiera Mosher and the dear brother of Val (Bob) Kluver and Mary Owens. He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Albertin Mosher.

A visitation will be held on Saturday at Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Milwaukee.

A Sailor’s Memorial Service will take place at the sailing center on Aug. 2, followed by a boat flotilla sail.

Donations in his honor can be made to the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center.

Cards can be sent to Patty Matheson at 507 College Ave, South Milwaukee, Wis., 53172, or emailed to


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