Members of the aquatics community are mourning the loss of one of their peers.

Longtime industry executive Katherine Z. Luecker passed away Jan. 27 after a yearlong battle with ovarian cancer, Aquatics International has reported. She was 55 years old.

Lueker, who served as a principal in commercial pool supplies firm Lincoln Aquatics, also was a co-founder of the Association of Aquatic Professionals.

“Kathie was a gift to the aquatics profession,” said Juliene Hefter, AOAP’s executive director/CEO told Aquatics International.

Shortly after gradutating from Oregon State University, Lueker joined Lincoln, the family business, as a sales manager overseeing the Pacific Northwest region. Later, she and her brother, Charlie, bought the company from their father, William and ultimately moved to the corporate office in Concord, Calif., as vice president.

Perhaps one of her proudest contributions to the industry was serving as a founding member of the AOAP, which launched its educational and exhibition conference in 2011.

She is remembered by her colleagues and friends for her engaging personality and as someone who immensely enjoyed speaking with customers, whether on a pool deck or a trade-show floor. Read More