According to the team at Formula Boats in Decatur, Ind., the heart of the lauded boat company, Victor (Vic) Porter, passed away on Sunday afternoon at the age of 90. Porter, who is survived by his wife, Kris, and their fives sons and one daughter (most of whom work at Formula), purchased the Thunderbird/Formula company in 1976. Twelve years later he consolidated the corporate and production headquarters of the company into a brand new, state-of-the-art facility in Decatur.
From the employees at Formula Boats to the associates across the industry, Vic Porter is surely going to be missed. Photo courtesy/copyright Formula Boats
Of course everyone at the family-focused company was disheartened by the news but also reflective on the long, generous and productive life Porter led.
“From my own perspective, I will remember Vic as the man who hired a 25-year-old English Education major who decided not to teach and wasn’t quite sure what he was going to do with his life,” said Scott Smith, Formula’s longtime marketing manager in an email to his boating media colleagues. “A week after I was hired here as a mold room assistant to the supervisor, this old guy (who was younger at the time than I am now), Vic Porter, came up to me on the factory floor and started a personal conversation with me. I felt special, but I wasn’t.
“There are probably hundreds of people who could tell you the same thing; that’s the kind of person he was,” he continued. “Now, 33 years later, I have to wonder how my life would have turned out if there had been no Vic Porter, and again, I’m sure hundreds of people could say the same.”
According to Smith, service details and a proper obituary for Porter are forthcoming. Speedonthewater.com also is working on a tribute story to the Formula Boats patriarch that will go live later this week. For much more on Porter and his company, check out the Formula Boats history page and learn about his involvement in Formula’s history.
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