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.