Kathy Latham has been a female icon in the powerboating world, breaking barriers and inspiring other women to follow in her wake. Magnum knows and honors the importance of women in this industry and she will be dearly missed by all in the powerboating community. Continue reading to learn more about Kathy Latham.
Although Kathy Latham was as spirited as ever while working at her hometown event—the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show—at the end October, the remarkable woman behind Latham Marine was in the midst of an intense three-year battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell in the bone marrow called a plasma cell and can damage the bones, immune system, kidneys and red blood cell count. Unfortunately the generous, one-of-a-kind Latham passed away at age 67 on Monday morning with her family by her side. While the family has asked that its privacy be respected during this time of mourning, a public funeral to honor the vibrant personality will be announced in the near future.
Founded in 1973 by the inventive Bob Latham, Latham Marine has been responsible for some of the most innovative products in the offshore racing and pleasure boat industry for parts of six decades. The company founder is the first to credit his smart, go-getting lifetime partner, Kathy Latham, for helping guide the business into a worldwide leader for a variety of engineering and component solutions, including steering systems, controls, rudders, sea strainers, trim tabs and more, for offshore racing competition as well as cruising, sport yachts, fishing boats and government vessels.
At the same time, the couple, who also own a machine tool company that makes high-pressure coolant pump systems for other equipment manufacturers, raised two smart and independent women—Amanda and Olivia.
“Having the chance to work with Kathy and Bob Latham for many years was a privilege—Kathy was a feisty friend, loyal and sometimes painfully truthful,” said Marilyn DeMartini, a South Florida-based journalist and public relations professional who was a longtime friend and colleague of Kathy Latham. “Her work ethos and sometimes unpopular business dictum of ‘No cash, No splash’ kept Latham Marine in the black during the many ups and downs of the performance marine industry during the company’s 50-year history. By running the front office, she enabled Bob to flourish in the design, engineering and manufacturing of the toughest performance parts that built their reputation and business.
“A staunch patriot, animal lover and friend, there wasn’t a military veteran or a suffering animal she wouldn’t help and her generous philanthropy helped so many without any expectation in return,” she added. “She will be sorely missed. Rest in peace Kathy—I’ll miss our conversations, laughs and I am sorry we never got to write your book!”
Bob Teague, who also founded his Southern California-based powerboat business, Teague Custom Marine, in the early 1970s, agreed with DeMartini. After being informed of the news yesterday, he told Speedonthewater.com that “Kathy was a special woman.”