Furuno mourns longtime U.S. regional manager

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Butch Weghorst 

Butch Weghorst 

Longtime Furuno USA employee and industry veteran Butch Weghorst died Friday. He was 72.

Weghorst was Furuno USA’s Gulf of Mexico regional manager from 1984 to 2016, working closely with dealers who he not only called customers, but also friends.

“Butch Weghorst represented Furuno for 32 years and for that entire time was a consummate professional and a model for how to sell and support a product line,” the company said. “Everyone at Furuno has wonderful memories of Butch and they will all greatly miss his friendship, professionalism and sense of humor.

Weghorst started his marine electronics career in the 1960s as a U.S. Navy radioman and he proudly wore his radioman’s ring in memory of that service. After the Navy, Weghorst worked in the Houston area, with stints at Gulf Radiotelephone, Krupp-Atlas and other companies of the time.

Weghorst’s Furuno career started when he was a representative for Promar in the 1970s. He worked as a Konel and then a Furuno rep with Promar in the Gulf and Rivers region after Furuno USA was founded in 1978. In 1984 Furuno USA hired Weghorst as a regional manager for the Gulf region.

Furuno calls Weghorst’s history with the company “legendary.”

“His driving log alone details hundreds of thousands of miles spent in the company ‘Crown Vic,’ a car that was prized by a generation of regional managers,” the company said.

Weghorst spent many days with Furuno product engineers on the inland rivers, working to improve short-range target performance on multiple generations of Furuno radars.

Furuno’s Japanese staff affectionately called him "Butchie-san" or referred to him as "Clint Eastwood.”

A memorial service will be held on Friday at 10 a.m. at the Scott Funeral Home in Alvin, Texas.