Les Groombridge, president of the former Outboard Marine Corp. of Canada from 1980-86, died Sunday in Peterborough, Ontario. He was 86.
Mayor Daryl Bennett remembered Groombridge as a community builder and a “great family man.”
“It will be a loss to our community and his family. ... He was a great family man who put his all into everything that he did,” the mayor told the Peterborough Examiner newspaper.
Groombridge retired as president after 45 years with Outboard Marine, having worked his way to the top job after starting as an office boy.
The producer of Johnson, Evinrude and Elto outboard motors, along with chainsaws and snowmobiles, Outboard Marine had a 70-year history in Peterborough, beginning as the Johnson Motor Co. in 1928.
Groombridge served as Peterborough’s planning and economic development director from 1987-1992.
He played a key role in the establishment of the Canadian Canoe Museum. A former vice chairman of the museum's board, he used his business skills and network of contacts to co-develop the long-term business plan for the museum when it was getting off the ground in the late 1990s.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Laura May Morley; his son Jim (Cheryl); and daughter Deb (Mike O'Dette); 14 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by three sons: William, John and Douglas.