Marine industry veteran Michael Devlin died on August 15. According to family members citing a medical examiner’s report, Devlin of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., suffered from arterial disease and died from a heart attack.
Devlin started his 44-year career in the boating industry in 1975 as a sales rep with Hurst Enterprises, an Orlando, Fla.-based regional manufacturer of bass boats. He later represented Regal, ProLine, Wellcraft, Regulator, Scout, Albermarle, Jupiter, Parker Boats and Buddy Davis Yachts. Most recently, Devlin had accepted a new position and was returning to Albermarle Boats as regional sales manager.
“Owen and I were very saddened to hear about Mike’s passing,” said Joan Maxwell, president of Regulator Marine. “Mike loved the marine industry and the many friends he met along the way. Even though it has been 13 years since we did business together, he remained our friend. He was a true veteran, a survivor through all the industry’s ups and downs. Our hearts go out to his family and friends left behind.”
“I’ve known Mike for more than 20 years,” said Dave Wallace, chief operating officer for Scout Boats. “He’s been a fixture in our industry and always looked after his dealers’ best interest. He worked the boat show circuit better than anybody and will be missed by all who knew him.”
Mike Collins of Contender, who recently relocated to New Smyrna Beach, had reconnected with Devlin. “Mike was a hard-working rep, but also someone who was always ready to go out and have some fun,” said Collins. “He did a great job for the manufacturers he represented in setting up and servicing their dealer organizations.”
“Mike was one of the most well-connected people in the boating industry and was always generous in sharing his contacts and making introductions among colleagues,” said Wanda Kenton Smith of Kenton Smith Marketing. “He and I worked together at Regal Boats. We collaborated on many projects over the years and I always valued his experience and insight. The news of his passing hit many of us hard.”
Devlin is preceded in death by his parents and one sibling, leaving behind two brothers in Florida along with several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Nephew Thom Devlin said Mike did not want a funeral service or memorial, preferring instead that friends simply “lift up a glass to celebrate his life.”