VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — STIHL Southeast President Bob Noble, Jr., affectionately known as “JR”, passed away on the morning of March 8 in Orlando, Fla. 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 when his father, STIHL Southeast founder Bob Noble, Sr. retired.

“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. We are all saddened by his loss and will be thinking of the entire Noble family during this difficult time,” said Bjoern Fischer, president at STIHL Inc.

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 will be led by Bob Noble Jr.’s successor, Randy Lail.