The latest tugboat to be part of the Settoon Towing fleet was christened the Fred A. Settoon on Nov. 4 in honor of owner Russ Settoon’s father.
Settoon was the youngest of nine children born to Archie and Amelia Settoon of Bayou Pigeon.
At a young age with little formal education or money, Settoon left Pigeon and worked at many jobs, eventually becoming an expert welder.
In l954 he married Shirley Perara from Belle River.
By l962, Settoon’s small welding service became Settoon Oilfield Contracting Co., which built small boats, barges and did oil field construction.
Around 1969, Settoon bought a small fleet of tugs, barges and crewboats from the estate of his deceased friend, Oudrey Gros Sr.
Later, Settoon Oilfield Contracting was incorporated into Fred Settoon Inc., which grew into a full-fledged shipyard, building crewboats, tugs, barges and multi-million dollar inshore and offshore going vessels.
During the “oil boom” days, Settoon also got involved in dredging, right-of-way clearing, dirt work and formed several other Settoon Companies, at one time providing employment for over 200 workers. (His sons and daughters currently operate these various companies)
Also, Settoon found time to contribute in many ways to the Pierre Part/Belle River communities. He helped St. Joseph the Worker Church with the Father Allain sidewalk, clearing dead trees from the cemetery, building parking lot pipe rails and bulkheading the Virgin Island.
He and his wife Shirley were instrumental in re-building the Sacred Heart Chapel in Belle River.
The walkway benches and the “book sign” at the Pierre Part schools were Settoon projects. The Belle River Recreation Park on La. 70 has been an ongoing project of Settoon.
Settoon also was one of the original founders of the Pierre Part/Belle River Business Group and the Pierre Part/Belle River Chapter of Ducks Unlimited. He was once an active Boy Scout leader, a member of the Knights of Columbus, a member of the Crawfish Jubilee Committee and the Nicholls State University Century Club.
Settoon currently is retired but maintains an active interest in his companies and community.