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JEFFERSONVILLE – A Perry County native who has worked at Jeffboat Shipyard for more than 40 years was honored this summer by having a towboat named after him.
Leo Lutgring, son of the late Leo and Virginia Lutgring, began his career with Jeffboat as a learning welder in 1972. Within a few months, he was promoted to training supervisor.
The following year, during which Jeffboat was building the famed Mississippi Queen, he became a foreman for special vessels and later a foreman for tank barges. In 1974, Lutgring received training in methods engineering and took on the role of industrial engineer.
The following year, he joined the sales team as a junior estimator and was promoted to chief estimator 10 years later. From 1986 through 1989, Jeffboat was closed for construction, and the workforce shrank from more than 2,000 to about 15.
One of the few remaining employees, Lutgring held various roles in marine repair during that time. In his 41 years of service with Jeffboat, he has contributed to the construction of about 8,500 hopper barges, 900 tank barges, 70 towboats and 200 other vessels.
Lutgring grew up near Tell City on a farm that has been in his family for more than 100 years. He graduated from Brescia College in Owensboro, Ky., with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1972.
He and Sherry, his wife of 29 years, reside in Jeffersonville. Sherry had the honor of breaking a bottle of chamapgne over the railing of the towboat to christen it as the motor vessel Leo G. Lutgring. The craft is a twin-screw 4,400-horsepower towing vessel 150 feet in length and 35 feet wide. Originally constructed by Jeffboat in 1978, the vesssel underwent an extensive refurbishment in 2013.
Lutgring’s siblings are Velinda Simon, Rosemary Flamion, Martha Beyke, Pat Lutgring and Jim Lutgring.