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Industry mourns loss of Subaru Engine president

Supplier News

Jay Peck passed away after a battle with cancer.

| August 12, 2011

LAKE ZURICH, Ill. – Subaru Industrial Power Products and the entire equipment industry suffered a great loss on Wednesday, Aug. 10 when Jay Peck, longtime company president and respected industry veteran, passed away at age 59 after a brief and quiet battle with cancer. Funeral services will be held at St. Francis de Sales church in his hometown of Lake Geneva, Wis., on Monday, Aug. 15. Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m., the service will be held at 11 a.m., and lunch will follow the service.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Jay. This is a tragedy beyond measure, not just for us here at Subaru, but for our entire industry,” said Brad Murphy, Subaru’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We’ve lost more than a leader, colleague and visionary. We’ve lost a friend.”

Peck began his career in the industry while attending college at the University of Wisconsin at White Water, spending his summers working for Teledyne Total Power’s Power Center outlet store in New Berlin, Wis. At the time, TTP had recently purchased Wisconsin Motors and Continental Motors, based in Milwaukee. After graduating UW with a degree in business management, Peck joined the company full time as the Power Center’s branch manager.

In 1985 at the age of 34, Peck became the youngest vice president in Teledyne’s history when he was named vice president of distribution, a move that took him to TTP’s new headquarters in Memphis, Tenn. He was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing in 1988, and it was at this time Peck began his association with the company he’d spend the next 23 years of his career with. He assumed the responsibility for the sale of Robin engines, which were being marketed in North America under the Wisconsin Robin brand as part of an agreement with Fuji Heavy Industries, Tokyo.

Peck left TTP in 1991 to start his own company, Wisconsin Industrial Products, back in his home state of Wisconsin. His wife Lynn took over the business in 1993 when he was chosen to lead the team that would plan and open Robin America in Wood Dale, Ill. He began his career with Robin America as vice president of sales and marketing, and soon after took over the role of president in 1996. Peck has since led Robin America to become what it is today, one of the leading suppliers of small industrial engines. Robin America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries, the manufacturer of Subaru industrial engines and power products.

While he was revered in the industry as an accomplished and admired businessman, Peck was a devoted family man too. He married his wife Lynn in 1973, and together they raised three children, Jenny, Jonathan and Jesse. They were also blessed with seven grandchildren. The family has established a charitable memorial in his honor. Donations can be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. This national organization works to create hope for pancreatic cancer patients through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. A donation in Peck’s honor can be made to this organization through the following link: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/jennyfrank/keepjaysmemoryalive?fge=ask. The Peck family will be notified of all donations.

Peck was a friend to many in the industry. Upon hearing the news of his sudden passing, many were quick to offer their condolences, prayers and remembrance.

“Jay will be sadly missed in the OPE industry,” said Dan Ariens, president, Ariens. “Not only was Jay an innovative thinker, but he became a dear friend. We were all shocked and saddened by the speed of Jay’s passing; the Peck family will be in our prayers.”

“Wacker Neuson and the industry have lost an outstanding professional, and I have lost an outstanding personal relationship with Jay's untimely passing,” said Chris Barnard, president and CEO, Wacker Neuson Corp. “Wacker Neuson and I will certainly miss his vision, drive, honesty and fair dealing, not to mention his uniquely engaging and fascinating personality.”

“We are heartbroken by the sudden loss of Jay Peck,” said Will Coates, president, Billy Goat Industries. “He was not only the consummate promoter; he was a good friend. Jay had the uncanny ability to light up any room, in any situation, on any continent. Our heartfelt condolences go to his wife Lynn and the good folks of Robin America. Jay will be missed.”

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