Stihl Southeast President Bob Noble Jr., affectionately known as “JR,” passed away in his sleep on the morning of March 8 in Orlando, Fla. He was 58. As an extended member of the Stihl Inc. family, he will be missed immensely, and his legacy will continue to inspire those who knew him.
Originally from Grand Rapids, Mich., Noble Jr. was an astute business leader who moved to Orlando in 1988 to join the team at Stihl Southeast. As a wholesale distributor serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama and several of the neighboring islands, Noble Jr. was promoted from sales manager to president in 1999 following the retirement of his father, Bob Noble Sr., who founded Stihl Southeast.
“Bob Noble Jr. was devoted to providing top-quality service to our servicing dealers, and this will continue to be a priority at Stihl Southeast,” said Bjoern Fischer, president at Stihl Inc. “We are all saddened by his loss and will be thinking of the entire Noble family during this difficult time.”
Noble Jr.’s enthusiasm for Stihl and for extreme sports led to the establishment of the Stihl Offshore Racing Team in 2007. Just two years later, Noble Jr. drove the Stihl boat in the team’s first appearance at the national and world championship in the stock-outboard class. With Noble Jr. at the wheel, Team Stihl captured the national and world titles.
When asked about his passion for boat racing, Noble Jr. said, “I love being a part of the offshore racing community. The camaraderie shown by everyone in the sport, win or lose, is what makes it such an enjoyable and rewarding activity. And like Stihl, it’s the people that always make the difference.”
The team at Stihl Southeast led by Noble Jr.’s successor, Randy Lail, will continue to provide superior service to its dealers, which is exactly what Noble Jr. would have wanted.