‘She was indeed an icon’: Newport News Shipbuilding mourns loss of longest-serving female worker

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The longest-serving female shipbuilder in Newport News Shipbuilding history passed away Wednesday morning.

President of Newport News Shipbuilding Jennifer Boykin made the announcement on Facebook saying master shipbuilder Shirley Langston died after a battle with cancer.

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.

Jennifer Boykin | President at Newport News Shipbuilding, A Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries

According to Boykin, Langston followed in the footsteps of her parents and joined the shipyard on August 11, 1958.

Her career with Huntington Ingalls Industries ended 62 years later. In those years, she served in planning and production control for the refueling and complex overhaul program.

“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,” says President Boykin. “She was indeed an icon.”

If you would like to leave your own fond memory of Shirley Langston, the company has made a tribute page you can contribute to.

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