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February 2018

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Nicholas Greco

The IBEW is saddened to report the death of retired Fourth District International Representative Nicholas Greco, who died Dec. 4 in St. Clairsville, Ohio, after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Born in Cincinnati in 1948, Brother Greco served in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked as a lineman for CG&E Power in his hometown. He was initiated into Cincinnati Local 1347 in 1970, becoming its assistant business manager 10 years later. He was serving as the local's business manager in 1990 when then-International President J.J. Barry appointed him an international representative.

In that role, Greco served utility locals in Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia. Colleagues remember him as a tireless advocate for IBEW members who influenced people with his cool head and kind heart.

"I look at Nick as a mentor. I think an awful lot of him," said Ted Robison, a Fourth District international representative who was business manager of Columbus Local 1466 when Greco was his region's representative.

Greco had a "very even-keeled" nature that "walked me back from a cliff a few times," Robison said.

He recalled an argument with Greco over a grievance. "I got rather heated about it, arguing my point. There was a little salty language. The next day I got to thinking about it and realized I'd cussed out my international rep and I'd better call him back and apologize," Robison said, noting that Greco was a man of faith who rarely cursed.

"I called him and said, 'Nick, I apologize for the way I talked to you yesterday,' and he said, 'Don't do that. Don't ever apologize for fighting for your folks or disagreeing with me. Do what's in your heart and you'll be fine.'"

In fact, Greco said he'd come around to Robison's point of view, telling him, "I never learned anything off of somebody that agreed with me."

Chuck Tippie, also a Fourth District international representative who held various offices at Local 1466, remembers Greco's generous spirit. "He was truly the kind of man who'd give you the shirt off his back," he said. "He'd do anything he could for you."

Although Greco was often on the road, Robison said he called his wife every day and "would want people to know the love that he had for his wife and family."

Greco's survivors include his wife, Trudy, two sons and three daughters. After retiring in 2007, he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, as well as RV travel with Trudy and two beloved Airedale terriers. He was committed to efforts to rescue Airedales and find homes for them.

Second only to his family was Greco's passion for workers and the ways unions could make their lives better, Robison said. "That's what meant the most to him in all his career: to help all working people enjoy the same advantages we had as union members."

On behalf of the entire IBEW membership and staff, the officers send our condolences to Brother Greco's family and friends.


Nicholas Greco

David L. Sager

The IBEW is saddened to report retired Third District International Representative David L. Sager died on Nov. 18. He was 82.

Brother Sager was born in Cornwall, N.Y., and followed a family tradition when he was initiated into Newburgh, N.Y., Local 631 in 1954 at the age of 18. His father and eight other relatives were Local 631 members and about a dozen were IBEW members overall.

His wife Betty Ann worked as a nurse and was a member of the Teamsters. He held a variety of leadership positions, including seven years on the examining board, before being elected assistant business manager and treasurer in 1973. He served in those roles until 1988, when he was assigned to the Third District office and serviced the New York state locals. Local 631 was amalgamated into New City, N.Y., Local 363 in 1993.

Sager worked out of the district office until his retirement in 1998, where his colleagues included future International President Edwin D. Hill, future Third District Vice President Donald C. Siegel, and Larry Neidig Jr., who went on to become Hill's senior executive assistant during his tenure as president. All three remained friends until his death.

"He was one caring individual, whether it was to the IBEW or his family or whatever was important to him," Neidig said. "His word was his bond. He sure made an impact on my life."

Andrea Karnavezos, Sager's daughter, said her father often referred to the IBEW as his second family. When he worked as a business agent for Local 363, he would often come home after work, have dinner with the family and then get on the phone until midnight securing work for members.

"He was a very strong supporter of his family and a believer in all unions, not just the IBEW," Karnavezos said. "It was in his blood. That's the way he lived."

Siegel said Sager earned a reputation as a "fixer" while working for the district office. If there was a particularly vexing problem within a local union, Sager often was the international representative assigned to work with officials there to take care of it.

That earned him a lot of respect with his colleagues, Siegel said.

"My first week on the district staff [in 1994], I spent with Dave Sager traveling to local unions," he said. "We became fast friends. We joked around a lot and Dave and I exchanged a lot of information about policy and the locals we served. I never forgot that."

Sager was active in several labor groups, including the New York State AFL-CIO and the state's building and construction council. He also served on former New York Rep. Benjamin Gilman's labor advisory committee.

He kept a presence with the IBEW even after retired. Siegel said he was a regular at Third District Progress meetings and his advice was still coveted until failing health kept him from attending during the last few years.

Brother Sager was married to Betty Ann for 47 years until her death in 2007. He is survived by his son David L. Sager II; daughters Andrea and Beth Ann Miller; and seven grandchildren.

The officers and staff of the IBEW offer their condolences to Brother Sager's family and friends.


David L. Sager