Memphis - Appliance industry veteran Liston Durden was felled by a massive heart attack this past weekend. He was 64.
Durden was the longtime marketing senior VP for Viking Range, where he recently assumed the additional role of corporate strategy senior VP.
He had also served as a director, division chairman and chairman of the board of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), which in 2007 bestowed him with the industry's highest honor, the Home Appliance Industry Leadership (HAIL) Award.
In a statement, Viking founder, chairman and CEO Fred Carl said, "The major appliance industry has lost a true icon in Liston Durden, who was widely known and respected as an appliance industry guru. We were still a start-up when Liston joined Viking, and he helped me build this company over the ensuing years."
He added: "Liston was a great teacher, and I learned a tremendous amount from him, for which I will be forever grateful. He was one of the finest, most caring and considerate people I have ever known. The planet will be different now that Liston is gone. This world desperately needs more people like Liston Durden."
AHAM described Durden as "a leader and dear friend," and said in a blog that his "perspective and view were unique. He brought tremendous passion and many new ideas to the industry. During his tenure at AHAM the product scope grew as did the membership as he consistently challenged us to think broadly of home appliances."
Durden began his appliance industry career in GE's management development program, and moved to KitchenAid in 1975 where he became product management director. He joined Viking in 1989.
He is survived by his wife Brenda and daughters Elizabeth and Sarah. A Funeral Mass will be held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 1695 Central Avenue, Memphis, TN on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 3:00 p.m., and a memorial mass will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 511 W. Washington, Greenwood, MS, on Friday, Jan. 28, at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to either church or to the donor's local Humane Society.