Longest serving female shipbuilder in Newport News Shipbuilding history passed away Wednesday

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Posted at 6:00 AM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 17:47:49-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Master Shipbuilder Shirley Langston, the longest serving female shipbuilder in Newport News Shipbuilding history, passed away Wednesday morning.

President of Newport News Shipbuilding, Jennifer Boykin, confirmed Shirley's passing in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

According to her post, Shirley followed in the footsteps of her parents and joined the shipyard on August 11, 1958, serving as an office clerk in the tool room. She had reached 62 years of distinguished service this year, having worked in planning and production control for the refueling and complex overhaul program.

"Shirley’s contributions to our industry are immeasurable. She paved the way for so many of us, and I will be forever grateful to have known her and to have learned from her. Her work ethic, enthusiasm, love of service – and love of boats – are some of the qualities I remember and respect the most," the post stated.

Master Shipbuilder, L.D. Joyner, reached out to President Boykin earlier Wednesday to share his respects.

“My long-time friend and co-worker, Shirley, loved the shipyard. SHE WAS AN ICON in the shipyard,” Joyner declared.

The post continues to explain the pathway that Shirley paved for the future of the shipyard.

"I would like to think that because of Shirley and her six decades of dedicated service, future generations of women and men alike will be inspired to serve as she so humbly did. She was indeed an icon, and we are fortunate she chose Newport News Shipbuilding as the place to spend her entire adult life."

You can join in remembering Shirley by visiting a special webpage with photos and articles about the history-making trailblazer.