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Former Duluth Seaway Port Authority Director Davis Helberg Dies

Former Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Director Davis Helberg has died at the age of 77. Former Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Director Davis Helberg has died at the age of 77. |  Photo: Duluth Seaway Port Authority

Darren Danielson
Updated: October 11, 2018 04:20 PM

Davis Helberg, the longest serving Duluth Seaway Port Authority director, has passed away.

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Helberg retired as executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority in 2003 after 24 years at the helm and four decades of being immersed in the Great Lakes maritime industry.

An article in the Great Lakes Seaway Review says during his career, Davis served as chair of the American Association of Port Authorities, was named Great Lakes Person of the Year and had been given the U.S. Coast Guard’s highest civilian award. He was a director of dozens of maritime commissions and trade associations, plus authored hundreds of columns and articles and a handful of books on topics near and dear to his heart.

Davis graduated from Esko High School in 1958 at age 17 and sailed as a deckhand on a Great Lakes freighter, the LaBelle.

Current Port Executive Director, Deb DeLuca shared her thoughts about Davis saying, "Davis had an immense passion for the port, the shipping industry, and its history. His passion was infectious. Also, he was a giant-a huge personality, a leader in the port world on a national level. His boldness, passion and leadership will be missed."

Helberg passed away on Wednesday at his home in Esko at the age of 77.

Port Authority representative Adele Yorde says a memorial service for Helberg is scheduled for Monday, November 12.

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Darren Danielson

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