Industry mourns passing of David Kirkland, vice president of commercial operations of Lowe Boats

David-Kirkland-Lebanon-2.jpgLEBANON, Mo. – Brunswick Boat Group is deeply saddened to announced the death of David Kirkland.

Kirkland died Thursday, August 13 in his home in Lebanon, Mo., while with his family. He was 59. Kirkland’s contributions over the past few decades to Lowe Boats and to the Brunswick Boat Group leave a lasting impact on the boating industry.

In 1988, Kirkland went to work for Lowe Boats on the assembly line. He held many positions throughout his career at Lowe Boats and cared deeply for his fellow employees. When Lowe Boats became part of the Brunswick Corporation in 2004, Kirkland served as a senior vice-president of freshwater sales, dramatically expanding Brunswick’s aluminum fishing and pontoon boat presence and market share in the Southern U.S. Region. Kirkland was then promoted to vice president of commercial operations for Lowe Boats, the position he held at the time of his death.

“For those who shared only brief encounters with him, it took no time at all to experience David’s kindness and energy,” explained Ben Cast, president of Lowe Boats. “While David was a remarkable husband, father and grandfather, he is a legend at Lowe Boats. David spent nearly 27 years working directly with or around Lowe Boats. He had an incredible passion for this business, its people and its products. While his presence will be sorely missed, he has left a great legacy that will extend far into the future.”

Marine dealers, manufacturing personnel, brand staff and Brunswick executives looked to Kirkland for his insights into sales, marketing and product development. He was responsible for many innovative product enhancements and revolutionary promotions.

“David’s energy and passion for the Lowe brand made him an ideal candidate and ally to help the Lowe management team take their business to new heights over the past few years,” added Jeff Kinsey, president of the Brunswick’s freshwater boat group. “And, his loyalty to the Lowe brand and its employees served as a tremendous role model for others to follow.”

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He is survived by his wife, Mary; sons, Michael David Kirkland and wife, Angela, of Lebanon, Mo.; and Ryan Hicks and wife, Tasha, of Joplin, Mo.; daughter, Brittany Hicks, of Springfield, Mo.; four grandchildren, Kalie, Kelsie, Kara and Kameron; a sister, Delcia Heriford of Ava, Mo.; two brothers, Curtis James Kirkland and wife, Mary, of West Plains, Mo., and Steve Kirkland, of Ozark, Mo.; a number of nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and many dear friends.

Funeral services for David Lee Kirkland were held Sunday, August 16 in the Lebanon Family Church with Pastor Matt Flanders officiating. Burial was at Mount Rose Memorial Park.

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