Stephen Williams, a former marketing executive in the fitness industry, including posts with Cybex and Technogym, died April 13, 2011, from kidney failure and diabetes. He was 61.
He is survived by his daughter, Brita Elizabeth, and his wife, Linda Gromko, a doctor who kept a blog of his fight against the diseases.
“For anyone who might question, Steve gave out. He never gave up,” Gromko wrote on the blog April 14.
Williams headed up Cybex marketing in 1990s. He returned to work with the company in 2007 when Cybex hired his eNova Group Limited, along with fellow principal Roy Simonson, to provide product design and development, marketing and sales concept consulting services to Cybex on an exclusive basis.
At the time, Cybex officials described Williams as “an experienced executive with a great deal of global marketing, branding and technology development experience with several well regarded fitness and non-fitness related companies.”
Those non-fitness related companies were in the audio industry, Williams’ other passion. He was president of Seattle-based Speakerlab and an executive for Harman International before his time at Cybex and worked with Onkyo afterward. He also was a marketing manager of Italy-based Technogym.
Below is his obituary that appeared in his hometown newspaper, the Seattle Times on April 17:
Stephen Martin Williams - 8/16/1949 - 4/13/2011 - Seattle native, Stephen Williams died Wednesday following a valiant struggle with kidney failure and diabetes. Stephen's career spanned two industries: home electronics and personal fitness. An original owner of Speakerlab, Stephen went on to hold executive posts at Harman, Onkyo and served as the CEO of Carver Corporation. He also held executive positions at Cybex and TechnoGym. 'Tenacious and gracious,' Stephen was a mentor to many in both industries. In his last years, Stephen experienced a litany of health problems, which he faced with dignity and honor. He hoped that his calamities might serve to educate others. Stephen was most proud of his daughter Brita Elizabeth. He is also survived by wife Linda Gromko, MD; stepson, Tim Franklin; and sister, Carole Jo Williams. As Stephen so enjoyed his wife's diverse medical practice, the family asks that memorial contributions be directed to Ingersoll Gender Center or Planned Parenthood. A memorial party will be held at a later date.