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Industry veteran Rocheleau dies after cancer battle

Marine industry veteran Donald G. Rocheleau passed away in his home last Friday after a battle with cancer. He was 76.

Rocheleau was president of Don Rocheleau Associates, which was the exclusive North American representative for Premier Products, a manufacturer of stainless-steel hardware to the marine industry.

Prior to this, he spent 33 years at Attwood Corp. in Lowell, Mich., retiring as president and CEO.

Rocheleau received many industry awards, including induction in the National Marine Manufacturers Association Hall of Fame, the Charles Chapman Award from the NMMA and MotorBoating Magazine, the ABYC Horizon Award, the National Marine Representatives Association Mel Barr Award and the Alan J. Freeman Memorial Award.

"The greatest example of Rocheleau's vision and vigor may be the orchestration of a long-desired marine industry objective - to unify the marine manufacturing industry under a single association banner," according to a 2000 statement released in honor of his induction into the NMMA Hall of Fame. "He achieved this as chairman of the Boating Industry Association in 1979, the year it merged with the National Association of Engine & Boat Manufacturers to become the National Marine Manufacturers Association. He would serve as NMMA's first vice chairman (1979-1983) and its third chairman (1983-1985)."

He was appointed to the U.S. Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Council by President George H.W. Bush and the board of the American Boat and Yacht Council.

Rocheleau served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday with visitation from 10-11 a.m. at the O'Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Click here for the full obituary and service arrangements.

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