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Remembering Charles S. Luck III

By |  December 4, 2020
Headshot: Charles S. Luck III

Luck

Charles Luck III, a pioneer in the aggregate industry who led family-owned Luck Stone through three decades of expansion and innovation, died Tuesday. He was 87.

Luck Stone, one of the nation’s largest producers, was founded on the philosophy that “if you do right by your people, they will do right by you.” Luck, who was enshrined in the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame in 2018, carried on that tradition from his father – a 2013 Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame inductee himself – and he reinterpreted the company’s values during his tenure as president and CEO.

In an era of command and control leadership, Luck adopted the phrase “we care” and lived it at his organization.

“We’ve always had a mindset of treating people right,” Luck said ahead of his induction to the hall of fame. “Our greatest asset is our people. People have asked me over the years why we have been as successful as we have been. I say it’s simple: the people who work for us.”

For more than 60 years, Luck instituted visionary methods to develop people and open doors for people in the communities he serves.

“You leave it better than you found it,” said Cynthia L. Haw, Luck’s daughter, when interviewed in 2018. “I think that’s something he’s really worked on doing with Luck Stone. They’re trying to leave the world, our environment, a better place than what it is. I feel like that is something that can go across the board, not just in business but it can be in your personal life, at the office or wherever you are.”

Luck’s career

Before joining his father in the family business, Luck graduated in 1955 from Virginia Military Institute and served in the United States Air Force for two years following graduation. He resigned as a first lieutenant.

Charles S. Luck III, left, joined his father, Charles Luck Jr., in the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame in 2018. Luck Jr. was enshrined in the hall’s inaugural class in 2013. Photo: Luck Companies

Luck began his career with the company nearly 30 years after his father established Luck Stone.

“My dad was my mentor, a person I had an extremely close relationship with,” Luck said. “At an early age, he gave me a lot of insights on how to live a good life [and] leadership. He was a people person. He loved people, cared about people. He was a very giving person.”

When Luck III started at Luck Stone, he worked in a number of capacities. He was named president and CEO in 1965.

In the early 1970s, Luck Stone demonstrated its leadership as a technological pioneer with the implementation of computerized ticketing at sales offices. Later in the decade, the company developed fully automated, unattended crushing plants.

Luck was an industry leader beyond just his company. He held leadership positions in many of the industry’s associations. He was a past chairman of the National Stone Association, as well as a past president of the Virginia Aggregates Association.

Always giving back

In addition to being highly dedicated to the aggregate industry, Luck poured himself into the community.

He volunteered his time to a number of organizations, including the capital campaign for the Children’s Museum of Richmond, which he served as co-chairman. Luck also served Mary Baldwin College as chairman of the board of trustees.

Learn more about Luck at a special website dedicated to his life and career.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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