DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — G. Howard Lund, founder of Lund Boat Co., passed away at his Detroit Lakes home Wednesday, October 22, at the age of 91, according to a press release issued Friday.
Lund was born in Gary, Minn., on August 7, 1912. His family later moved to New York Mills, Minn. After graduating from high school in 1930 he attended Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis where he studied mechanical drafting and fabrication. He built his first boat out of galvanized steel in 1939 in Albert Lea, Minn. In his words “It was crude but it was all mine!”
Lund’s love of boats drew him to work at the Mare Island Navy Shipyards in Vallejo, Calif., from 1940 to 1946. He returned to New York Mills opening a sheet metal shop and furnace dealership, the press release stated.
Lund’s re-entry into the marine industry started when he built himself a duck boat in 1947 in anticipation of a good duck-hunting year. He carried it around propped on the top of his car. A salesman for Inland Marine Corp. saw Howard’s boat and asked him about it. The salesman asked him if he would build more, the answer was “Yes.” The salesman left Howard with an order for 50 of his duck boats, thus starting Lund Boat Co., according to the press release.
Lund Boat Co. grew under Howard Lund’s direction. By 1957, he employed up to 15 men and had a very good distributor in St. Paul, Minn. Over the next 15 years the company continued to grow, and in 1972 Lund opened a manufacturing facility in Steinbach, Manitoba. Howard continued to insist on quality. He personally tested all his products and maintained the standard of the boating industry in America, the press release said.
In 1978 Lund became a subdivision of Arctic Enterprises in Thief River Falls, Minn. Lund retired as company president in 1981 when Arctic Enterprises was purchased by Irwin Jacobs.
G. Howard Lund was honored with induction into the North Central Marine Association Hall of Fame in 1999. Howard Lund’s 1948 dream of making a quality boat has far exceeded his expectations. G. Howard Lund’s legacy continues with every boat that bears his name.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 27 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York Mills, Minn.
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