Longtime California shipyard owner dies

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Delbert “Bud” Tretter, 80, owner of the Marina Shipyard in Long Beach, Calif., died June 14.

The Marina Shipyard has been family-owned and operated since 1964. A memorial service will be held next week for Tretter.

Tretter worked several years to restore P-520, the crash rescue boat that his son Jerry captained to welcome the USS Iowa when the battleship was being towed from San Francisco to be temporarily anchored three miles offshore from Long Beach, according to the (Long Beach) Press-Telegram.

The battleship is now berthed permanently in San Pedro.

Bud — nobody called him by his given name, Delbert — was born Nov. 6, 1931, and attended Lomita Elementary School and Narbonne High School. His family bought Colonial Yacht Anchorage, a boat repair yard, in Wilmington in 1949. Bud enlisted in the Air Force in 1951 and married his high school sweetheart, Arvilla Grosskopf, the same year.

It was while serving in the Korean War aboard a crash rescue boat that events happened that influenced him until the day he died.

After the war, Bud spent several years as a marine surveyor before joining his family in running the Marina Shipyard in 1978.

A member of the Screen Actors Guild, Bud worked with Vicki Lawrence, a Long Beach resident who played Mama on "The Carol Burnett Show" and "Mama's Family."

Bud also captained the PT boat seen in the opening scenes of another TV show, "McHale's Navy."

Many of Tretter’s dreams came true, but one of them eluded him — welcoming the USS Iowa aboard P-520, a crash rescue boat that he and his son took seven years and $1 million to restore to its original glory during World War II and the Korean War.

The restoration of the 85-foot wooden Army Air Corps crash rescue boat was a labor of love; Tretter was stationed aboard a crash boat during the Korean War.

He died two weeks after the Iowa anchored off Long Beach for cleaning.

P-520 will be used as part of the non-profit organization Kids, Hands and Minds Together to teach young people about engines, navigation, leadership and other activities associated with seamanship.

Click here for the full report.

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