It is with a heavy heart that Cruisers Yachts has announced the death of its longtime owner Kenneth Charles (K.C.) Stock, who passed away on November 28, 2022. Born April 6th, 1938 in Oconto, Wis. K.C. from a young age had a knack as an entrepreneur. He quickly progressed in business to buy his first company, a contractor yard, in 1971 and renamed it Stock Lumber, growing it to 11 yards across Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Following his passion for the lumber business and the entrepreneurial spirit, he bought his hometown boat company, Cruisers Yachts. Growing up in Oconto, it was important to K.C. that the town continued to thrive and that meant keeping jobs local. He invested in the company and the Oconto community to see it flourish. Mark Pedersen, President of Cruisers Yachts, said, “The one statement that best describes K.C., is his love and commitment to the employees at Cruisers Yachts. Anytime he would visit, he would first ask how many team members were working and then walked the floor to visit with them.” One of K.C.’s favorite quotes “You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with.”
With K.C.’s support for over 28 years, Cruisers Yachts has enjoyed tremendous growth and is now known as one of the world’s premier manufacturers of premium yachts ranging from 33 to 60 feet. Named after his father, the Cantius series was born with the launch of the 48 Cantius in 2011. Since then, ten models, including the largest in the lineup, the 60 Cantius, have been badged with his father’s name. In 2019, Cruisers Yachts unveiled the GLS series, named after his loving wife Georgia Louise Stock. The GLS series comprises of four models, ranging from 34 to 50 feet.
Wanting to continue the company’s growth, KCS International, Inc., parent company of Cruisers Yachts, significantly expanded its manufacturing and production capacity with the acquisition of the nearby Pulaski, Wisconsin facility that formerly built Carver and Marquis brand yachts. Shortly after, K.C. was looking for a new successor that would keep Cruisers Yachts rooted in Wisconsin. In May of 2021, K.C. sold the company to MarineMax, Inc., the world’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer with the promise to keep Cruisers Yachts, the employees, and the community thriving.
K.C. always believed in giving back to the community. One of his greatest achievements was starting the K.C. Stock Foundation to help those in need. He took great pride in making a positive difference in other people’s lives. His foundation made the lead gift to start the Children’s Hospital in Northeastern Wisconsin at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay. Even in death, he encourages others to donate to one of his favorite charities, the HSHS St. Vincent’s Foundation – https://giving.hshs.org/svsm/Donate. This provides Christmas presents to all the children in the Pediatric Oncology Unit. K.C. loved to do this and bring families a bit of joy and happiness during the holiday season.
From all of us at Cruisers Yachts, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. K.C. will be greatly missed.
K.C. Stock Full Obituary: https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/obituaries/wis377566.