Remembering BAC Members Lost to COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across North America, our BAC brothers and sisters are among the casualties. It is important for us to work together during this crisis to prevent further deaths and remember those who we lost because of the coronavirus.
This list includes those deaths we have currently learned of. If you aware of additional BAC members we should include on this list, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add them to the list.
Francesco Abate, a 22-year member of BAC Local 1-NY, passed away on April 24, 2020 at the age of 62. Born in Santa Margherita di Belice, Agrigento, Sicily, Brother Abate immigrated to the United States in 1980. A stone mason by trade, he was a resident of Howard Beach, NY. He is survived by his wife Dina and his daughters Maria, Katy, and Jessica.
Joseph Q. Alston
Joseph Q. Alston, a 54-year Gold Card member of BAC Local 1-NY, passed away on April 1, 2020, a resident of Irvington, New Jersey. He was 76-years old.
Born in North Carolina, Brother Alston learned the trade there and then moved to Philadelphia in 1965 and joined BAC Local 1-PA. He was drafted in 1966 and fought in the Vietnam War. In 1968, he was honorably discharged and then returned to the trade. In 1971, Brother Alston moved to New York City and joined then Local 34-NY there. He worked for McNally and McNally, Inc. for 30 years, eventually becoming a foreman. One of the projects that he supervised won the BAC Craft Award Best Brick Project of the Year in 1985. In 2001, Brother Alston became Apprenticeship and Training Instructor with Local 1-NY and continued in that capacity until his retirement in 2014. After retirement, Brother Alston continued to assist at the training center on a part-time basis until his death. “Joe was a good friend and a man who loved his family, his work, and his union,” says IU Executive Vice-President Jeremiah Sullivan, Jr., “I believe teaching was Joe’s calling; he had a way of connecting with his students. He was proud that he had the opportunity to pass on the skills and knowledge he acquired throughout his career to future generations of craftworkers.”
Brother Alston is survived by his wife Joyce, a daughter, and a son.
Walter Awdey, a 68-year Gold Card member of BAC Local 2-MI from Royal Oak, Michigan, passed away on April 12, 2020. Brother Awdey was a tilesetter by trade. He was 95-years old.
Charles P. Besenfelder
Charles P. Besenfelder, 51-year Gold Card member of BAC Local 5-OH and resident of North Ridgeville, Ohio, passed away on May 5, 2020. He was 71-years old, a bricklayer by trade. He was the son of the late Charles P. Besenfelder Sr. and Jean Graneggan Richardson.
Brother Besenfelder is survived by his wife of 46 years, Susan Gerrasch Besenfelder; his children David Besenfelder (Julie), Sarah Mahilo (Aaron), Ann Carroll (Matthew), Matthew Besenfelder (Shannon) and John Besenfelder; and eight grandchildren.
Joaquim F. Calcado
Joaquim Fernades Calcado, a 64-year Gold Card member of BAC Local 1-NY, passed away on December 2, 2020 at the age of 92. Brother Calcado was born in Murtosa, Aveiro, Portugal in 1928 and arrived in the United States at the age of 19. Brother Calcado was a resident of Hicksville, New York and was a bricklayer by trade.
Brother Calcado was preceded in death by his wife Ana, his son John, and his brother John. He is survived by his son, Joaquim Jr.; his grandchildren James, Kevin, and Jaclyn; and his sister Maria Amélia Calcado-Farinhas.
Domenico Cusello, a 23-year member of BAC Local 1-NY, passed away on May 11, 2021 at the age of 47. Born in East Patchogue Hamlet, New York, he was the son of Raffaele Cusello and Iolanda Antonina Tulino. Brother Cusello was a bricklayer by trade and a resident of Shirley, NY. He is survived by his wife Nancy Tietz Cusello.
Mario Dilullo, a 51-year Gold Card member of BAC Local 8-OH and resident of Youngstown, Ohio, passed away on April 8, 2020. He was 83. Born in San Pietro Avellana (Province of Isernia, Molise), Italy to Oreste and Pasqualina (Colaizzi) DiIullo, Brother Dilullo immigrated to the United States in 1954. He worked for the A. P. O’Horo Company and later Hively Construction.
Brother Dilullo is survived by his wife of 53 years Pasqualina (Grieco); son Pasqualino (Patsy); son and daughter-in-law Mario and Barb (Shaffer); grandsons Mario and Dominic; sister Rosemarie (Vittorio) Quaranta; brothers Dr. Nino (Julie) DiIullo, Vito DiIullo, and Martino DiIullo; brothers-in-law Luigi (Gino) Grieco and Tommaso (Molly) Grieco; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother Amico and sister-in-law Sophie.
James L. Dineen
James L. Dineen, a 69-year Gold Card member of BAC Local 2-NY/VT from Syracuse, New York, passed away April 2, 2020. A bricklayer and mason by trade, he was 85-years old. He was born in Syracuse to the late Lawrence and Olga Dineen. Brother Dineen was an avid outdoorsman, spending a lot of his time hunting and fishing. He is survived by his children, Debra (David) Bearup; Michael (Laurinda) Dineen, and Laurence (Mary Ellen) Dineen; sister, Mary Dineen; 8 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Lorraine, on March 10, 2020.
Robert G. Falzano
Robert G. Falzano, a 47-year member of BAC Local 2-NY/VT, passed away on May 8, 2020.
A resident of Schenectady, Brother Falzano was born in Albany, New York, the son of the late Benedict and Lena Falzano.
A bricklayer and mason by trade, Brother Falzano served his apprenticeship and quickly worked his way up to mason foreman then masonry superintendent. Projects that he ran include the Greene County Correctional facility, the Off-Track Betting building in Schenectady, an armory in Utica, the housing at the Olympic Village in Lake Placid for the 1980 Olympics, as well as area schools and hospitals. A large part of his career was spent with GA Masonry and Colonie Masonry.
He is survived by his wife Elaine Falzano; two sons: Michael Robert (Mary) and Joseph Benedict; two granddaughters: Sarah Elizabeth and Ella Michele Falzano; brother, Michael Anthony (Deborah); sister, Marianne Maclutsky. Also survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Lindsey Aron Jordan
Lindsey Aron Jordan, a 21-year member of BAC Local 7-KY from Ashland, Kentucky, passed away on March 31, 2020. He was 49-years old. A refractory bricklayer, Brother Jordan was working away from home in Detroit, Michigan when he became ill. To protect his family back home, he decided to self-quarantine there and succumbed to Covid-19 at the Henry Ford Medical Center in Detroit.
Brother Jordan is survived by his wife Amanda 'Mandy' Spradlin Jordan, his children Chase Jordan, Eric Jordan, Sarah Jordan, Brent 'Bub' Canterbury, Sierra O'Brien, Kayleigh Canterbury, and Madison Canterbury; a sister, Lisa Jordan; and seven grandchildren. He was the son Dora Jean Greene Jordan and the late Lindsey Jordan, Jr.
McMillan Kealohilani Kihamahana
McMillan Kihamahana, a 56-year Gold Card member of BAC Local 7-CO/WY, passed away on April 4, 2020 at the age of 78. A resident of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Brother Kihamahana was a bricklayer and stone mason.
Ronald G. Lechner
Ronald G. Lechner, a 56-year Gold Card Member of BAC Local 3-NY, passed away on January 10, 2021 at the age of 77. Brother Lechner was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Herbert Lechner and Corinne Wicks. Both Lechner’s father and his grandfather Stephen Lechner were Gold Card Members of the former BAC Local 45-NY. In 1990, Brother Lechner became a Business Agent with Local 45-NY and went on to become the Director of the former Western New York Administrative District Council.
Brother Lechner is survived by his wife Elaine; his daughters Michelle (Gary) Kostek and Lisa (Jason) Brown; his grandchildren Gary Jr., Alex, Stephanie, and Parker; sisters Carol (late Robert) Wnuk and Linda Lechner; and nieces and nephews.
Glenn Logan Smyers, Sr.
Glenn Logan Smyers, Sr., a life member of BAC Local 9 PA, passed away on May, 2020. Glenn was also a member of the American Legion Post 493 and an honorary lifetime member of Redbarn Sportsman’s Club Inc. You don’t have to look far to see one of his proud masonry projects that were constructed with perfection. He could be found on the greens of the Veteran of Foreign Wars golf resort or drinking coffee on the famous “patio” with loving family, friends, and always accompanied by lifelong neighbors Marcy and Ed Horchar. In Glenn’s younger days, he played and coached softball, bowled, hunted and fished.
See full obituary here.
Jose Rafael Ostorga-Ramirez
Jose Rafael Ostorga-Ramirez, a member of BAC Local 13-NV, passed away on June 11, 2020. A resident of Las Vegas, Brother Ostorga-Ramirez was a marble mason and tile setter by trade. He was 56-years old.
Gaetano Zerenga, a 58-year Gold Card member of BAC Local 1-NY, passed away on May 19, 2020, a resident of New York City. A bricklayer by trade, he was 89-years old.
Alfredo Meneses, a 13-year member of BAC Local 1-NY, passed away on April 10, 2020 at the age of 43. Born in Santiago Momoxpan, Cholula, Pueblo, Mexico, Brother Meneses immigrated to the United States over twenty years ago. A Pointer, Cleaner & Caulker by trade, he was a resident of Corona, NY. "Alfredo was a great human being, very cheerful and generous, he helped in whatever way he could," recalled his sister Maria del Carmen Meneses. He is survived by three children, five siblings, and several nephews.
Angel B. Verdoza
Angel B. Verdoza, a 51-year Gold Card member of BAC Local 3-AZ/NM, passed away on March 1, 2021. He was born in 1937 in San Juan, Mexico to Rosalia Baeza and Agapito Veroza. A Cement Block Layer by trade, Brother Verdoza was a resident of Phoenix, AZ. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Manuela Verdoza; their six children, Sammy, Rose Emma, Rudy, Robert, Artur, and Yvonne; 20 grandchildren; 36 great grandchildren; and numerous great-great grandchildren.
Frank Argila, a 60-year Gold Card Member of BAC Local 1-NY, passed away on March 13, 2021. A bricklayer by trade, Brother Argila resided in North Babylon, NY for 44 years and was a volunteer fire fighter there. In 1993, Brother Argila co-founded Triple A Masonry and was known for serving as a mentor for many apprentices over the years. He retired in 2004 and he and his wife Darleen moved to Plant City, Florida.
Brother Argila is survived by his wife; son Frank (April); son Anthony (Donna); daughter Lori (Rick); son Chris; five grandchildren Amanda, Ryan, Alyssa, Kayla, and Anthony; sister Jean; and brothers Jack and Buddy.
William” Willie” Cucchiarella, a 61-year Gold Card Member of BAC Local 1-NY, passed away on January 17, 2021. Brother Cucchiarella was born in the Bronx, the son of the late Margaret-Rose and John Cucchiarella. A resident of Yonkers, Brother Cucchiarella was originally a member of the former BAC Local 37-NY, was a bricklayer by trade, and worked as a foreman and a superintendent on many projects in the greater New York City area.
Brother Cucchiarella was a loving husband to his wife Linda (nee Martucci) and a devoted father to their son, William. He was a die-hard New York Yankees fan, an avid bowler, and loved doing crossword puzzles. Cucchiarella’s brothers John, Lucian, and Vincent are all bricklayers, and all are Gold Card Members of BAC Local 1-NY.
He is survived by his wife, his son, his brothers and their families, his Martucci in-laws, and many nieces and nephews.
Gary L. McCannon
Gary L. McCannon, a 55-year Gold Card member, passed away on May 16, 2021 at the age of 79. A resident of Andalusia, Illinois, Brother McCannon was a member of BAC Local 6-IL and was a bricklayer by trade. Born in Moline, Illinois, he was the son of the late Francis and Ethel (Tompkins) McCannon. He served in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1969.
An avid outdoorsman, Brother McCannon- affectionately known as Hoot- loved to fish and hunt, worked a number of years as a commercial fisherman on the Mississippi River, and was a prolific gardener.
Brother McCannon is survived by his wife of 54 years , Glenda; daughters, Tabitha (Keith) Klundt, Tiffaney McCannon (Dan Witz), Tennesha Duyvejonck, and Tedra (Corey) Greer; grandchildren, Zachery (Brittni) and Matthew (Hannah) Klundt, Tristan, Tate, Teaghan, Ty Duyvejonck, Adison Greer, Mac and Sally Witz; great grandchildren, Evelynn, Rosalee, Theodor and Auora; brothers Jim (Janice), Art (Nancy), Russ (Sue); and several nieces and nephews.
Miguel A. Pintado
Miguel A. Pintado, an 18-year member of BAC Local 1-NY, passed away on May 5, 2020 at the age of 61. A resident of Corona, New York, Brother Pintado was a bricklayer by trade.
Delbert Lee Smith, Jr.
Delbert “Del” Lee Smith, Jr., a member of BAC Local 5-OK/AR/TX/NM, passed away on December 4, 2020 at the age of 61. Born in Orange, Texas, Smith was the son of the late Delbert Lee Smith, Sr., and Margie Gay Johnson. A third-generation BAC member, Brother Smith was a refractory bricklayer by trade and worked over 40 years for J.T. Thorpe Company. Smith was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed photography, woodworking, and dancing to country and Cajun music.
He is survived by his wife Kimberly Smith; his children Jeremy Smith (Jennifer), Eric Smith (Kate), Justin Roberts, and Haley Mills (Steven); his brother David Smith and Gary Grueschow; his aunts, Joyce LeBlanc, Chris Evans, and Karen Corbett (Michael); his grandchildren Jordan, Jace, Jerin, Jillian, Walker, Colton, Livi, Allie, Maddie, Seth, Joshua, Jadon, Salynda, Zoey, Maleeah, Paige, Brooklyn, and Haven; his parents-in-law, Robert Williams (Janet) and Joy Hand (Billy); his cousins, Tamara, Dwain and Stacey; and his beloved pet, Peaches.
Ringeisen, Thomas H.
Thomas H. Ringeisen, a 73-year Gold Card member of BAC Local 1-NY, passed away on February 5, 2021 at the age of 96. A resident of Lindenhurst, New York, Brother Ringeisen was a bricklayer by trade.
Miroslaw Grochowski, an 11-year member of BAC Local 1-NY, passed away on April 4, 2020 at the age of 65. A resident of Ridgewood, New York, Brother Grochowski was a bricklayer by trade.