Friends and family of Steve Williams gathered last month to remember the man who affected the industry at Cybex International and Technogym.
A celebration of Williams’ life was held May 15 at Lake Washington Rowing Club in Seattle, Williams’ hometown. Williams died April 13 after struggling with kidney failure and diabetes. He was 62.
In the late 1980s, Williams, who had been in the audio business world, joined Cybex, Medway, MA, as senior vice president of fitness sales and marketing. Cybex was primarily a physical therapy equipment company at the time, says Rick Caro, president of Management Vision.
“Steve Williams was a major visionary in the club industry,” Caro says. “Steve was funny, bright, loyal, innovative, intellectually curious and caring. He leaves many friends in the club industry who will miss that belly laugh, his smile and his clever words of humor.”
Cybex President and COO Art Hicks added: “Steve Williams was an icon in the industry, known by those people who have been in the health and fitness business a long time. Steve’s passing will be felt by many. Cybex wishes his family and friends our deepest sympathy.”
Years after his time at Cybex, Williams joined Technogym, Gambettola, Italy. Caro says Williams led Technogym into the North American market with a focus on wellness and high-service facilities.
“Steve played a very big part in bringing Technogym to the United States, and we will forever be grateful for his important contribution to our company,” Nerio Alessandri, Technogym’s president, said in a statement. “Our thoughts and blessings are with his family.”
In 2009, Williams’ wife, Linda Gromko, who is a doctor, chronicled Williams’ health issues in a book titled “Complications: A Doctor’s Love Story.” Williams had a kidney transplant two years ago that failed, and just a week before his death, he had surgery for a below-the-knee amputation.
“There’s no way to convey the loss we feel, but it’s enormous,” Gromko wrote on her blog that details Williams’ struggles in his final days. “The cost of Steve living the way he was—with significant suffering—was far too high. As much as I loved Steve with all my heart and soul, I couldn’t bear to think he was living for me in such agony.”
In addition to his wife, Williams leaves behind a son, Tim, and a daughter, Brita.