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It is with great sadness, yet with fond memories of those who knew him that we bring to you the news of the passing of Dynamic leader and Kohler Co. Executive Chairman Herbert Vollrath Kohler, Jr. passed away on September 3, 2022, in Kohler, Wisconsin., a beloved friend of the Casa de Campo community.
He was 83. His bold ideas and hands-on leadership transformed the plumbing products manufacturer founded by his grandfather into a global and diverse family of businesses synonymous with unmatched quality, creativity, and bold innovation.
He came to the game of golf late, and when he did, he ended up changing the game’s landscape. In partnership with golf course designer Pete Dye, Kohler oversaw the construction of two courses at Blackwolf Run, in 1988 and 1990, with a composite layout used as host site for the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open and later the development of the Whistling Straits golf resort.
His four courses in and around Kohler, Wisconsin—two at Whistling Straits and two at Blackwolf Run—proved to other developers that if you build something special, the golf aficionados will come. Think Mike Keiser and his Bandon Dunes among others. He put his beloved home state of Wisconsin on the map as a global golf destination culminating with the Ryder Cup in 2021.
“His zest for life, adventure, and impact inspire all of us. We traveled together, celebrated together, and worked together. He was all in, all the time, leaving an indelible mark on how we live our lives today and carry on his legacy,” said his family.
He was admired by many as an accomplished, dynamic leader; independent-minded entrepreneur; courageous innovator; and passionate creative. Herb, more than anyone, lived and breathed Kohler Co.’s mission of providing customers with gracious living each day. He was a big personality who was steadfast in guiding Kohler associates in the relentless pursuit of the company mission, and he took immense joy in witnessing his customers’ delight firsthand.
“We have the people, the products, the focus, the resources, and the passion to pursue our mission and compete successfully,” Herb once told associates.
The family plans to host a private service. At a date to be determined, Kohler Co. will host a tribute to Herb Kohler for associates, past and present.
To learn more about Herb Kohler’s countless contributions, his dynamic life, business impact, and well-deserved accolades, visit Kohler Co.’s tribute at CelebrateHerbKohler.com. Information regarding ways to honor his memory will be detailed on the website.
*News provided by Kohler Co.