A life well spent at the helm of family, business and yacht

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 05:00 24/12/2013
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Neil Leuthart

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Neil Leuthart was about to take the lead in a yacht race on Saturday when tragedy struck.

The 76-year-old was sailing his yacht Tenacity off Port Taranaki with three friends when he died.

While sailing was a weekend hobby, Mr Leuthart spent most of his life at the helm of a number of Taranaki companies.

His career included being the director and chairman of the Moa Dairy Company and overseeing its amalgamation with Clifton Dairy to become Moanui.

He also sat on the board of Kiwi Dairies, was the director of the New Zealand Dairy Board, chairman of Timaru Milk, was on the Central Region Health Board, chairman of Taranaki Coolstores and chairman of the Taranaki Vet Group.

His parents were well-known caterers in New Plymouth where Mr Leuthart grew up and attended New Plymouth Boys' High School.

He then farmed in Rahotu before spending about 40 years farming in Mangorei Rd.

His son, David Leuthart, said his father was a careful and thorough man.

"He always thought about all the things that were important. I think that's why he was successful. He prepared himself and he took the time to listen to other people."

After retiring Mr Leuthart took on the role of gardener at David's business Timberco, where he was known as "the father of the forest" and was a mentor for the family.

He is survived by his wife Margaret, sons David and Paul, daughter Margaret and five grandchildren.

David said his mother and father had supported each other wholeheartedly over the years and created a strong family.

"We couldn't have asked for a better father."

That his father had died on board Tenacity - his yacht - was a fitting end for a man who loved to sail with his mates.

"It's nice that he passed away doing something he was passionate about."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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