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Industry mourns leader in Grow Boating effort

Richard Strickler, who spent his career in marine finance and is largely credited with giving the Grow Boating campaign momentum, died April 14 in Franklin, Tenn. He was 71.

Richard Strickler, who spent his career in marine finance and is largely credited with giving the Grow Boating campaign momentum, died April 14 in Franklin, Tenn. He was 71.

Strickler suffered from complications following a recent heart valve operation, according to former colleague Brad Kelley, vice president of manufacturing relations for Wells Fargo.

“Richard was a towering figure in the marine industry,” National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich told Trade Only Today. “He helped to lead the first ‘stop the bleeding’ meeting that led to the eventual launch of Grow Boating. He was always there to support industry efforts financially and with personnel. He was a great supporter of and contributor to the industry and was liked and respected by all. It is very sad to hear of his passing.”

Strickler retired as executive vice president of the marine division of GE Commercial Finance's distribution finance unit, which was recently sold to Wells Fargo. He was a 32-year company veteran and a recognized industry financing leader. He spent most of his career in the Chicago area.

After retiring to Franklin, Strickler enjoyed years of domestic and international travel with his wife, Dianne, family and friends. His financial experience brought him into service for the Williamson County Republican Party and as a financial consultant at church and for family and friends.

A visitation will be held at 2 p.m. and a celebration of his life will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Fourth Avenue Church of Christ in Franklin.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to his grandsons’ school, Ezell-Harding Christian School.

Click here to read the full obituary.

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