Poettker Construction Co. founder Charles “Chuck” Poettker died Saturday in a tragic incident on Kentucky Lake.
Poettker, 69, jumped off his boat into the lake about 3 p.m. and did not resurface. His body was found about two hours later, according to news reports, citing Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
Poettker, of O’Fallon, was the chairman and CEO of a construction company well-known for its work locally and throughout the Midwest. He led a family business of 41 years, based in Breese. The company recently built new headquarters there.
According to a story in the Post-Dispatch, Poettker was on his boat with his wife Linda when he disappeared underwater.
The company issued a statement on its website.
Keith Poettker, president of Poettker Construction, said, “It is with great sadness and the heaviest of heart that I announce the passing of my father and role model, Chuck Poettker. Under his outstanding leadership, Poettker Construction has built millions of quality relationships and buildings and has grown to be recognized as a premier construction firm and best place to work.”
Chuck Poettker made an incredible mark on what Poettker Construction is today, the statement said.
“Through his unwavering bravery in the United States Army, he has taught the Poettker Team how to foster and maintain a culture of respect, honesty, courtesy, and teamwork,” the statement said.
Poettker served as a specialist 4th class assigned to Alpha Company, 3-187th Infantry Battalion, 101st Airborne Division stationed at Camp Evans, South Vietnam. In April 1971, Poettker and his unit were given orders into Laos to rescue two door gunners and recover the bodies of the pilot and co-pilot of a downed helicopter.
“This grueling journey back to safety earned him a U.S. Army Bronze Star for heroic service in a combat zone,” said the company’s statement. “He prayed that if he made it out alive, he would dedicate his life to building something of value. Celebrating 41 years of quality work, Poettker Construction is just that today, employing nearly 200 families and working in 26 states.”
Poettker Construction will be moving forward with its current succession plan established in 2016, which named Keith Poettker as president, the statement said.
“It is from my father’s grit, determination, and leadership that we have the privilege to continue his legacy of building relationships founded on unparalleled service, quality of work, and safety for our people and business partners. For 41 years, he established a company surpassing others when it comes to mentorship, involvement, dedication, and family values,” said Keith Poettker.
Chuck Poettker always said, “I’m having my best day since yesterday,” the company statement said.
Funeral arrangements will be announced later this week. Updates will be available at www.poettkerconstruction.com/news and via Poettker’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages.