Celebration of Life for IBEW Local 1’s Bart Velasco planned for Feb. 22

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By SHERI GASSAWAY
Assistant Editor

A great Labor leader. A true union brother. A Jefferson County legend. Those are just some of the words friends and coworkers used to describe Bart Velasco, a founding father of the Jefferson County Labor Club and longtime IBEW Local 1 member.

Velasco, who served as president of the club for more than 30 years, passed away Feb. 5. There will be a celebration of life from 3 to 8 p.m. on Feb 22 at the Local 1 union hall at 5850 Elizabeth Ave. in St.  Louis.

“It saddens me because I have lost a friend and a mentor,” said Jefferson County Labor Club President Chuck DeMoulin. “To say he was a leader in our community and in our local would be a huge understatement. If you were lucky enough for him to call you “Moe” then he was definitely part of your life, and you are better because of it.”

Steve Marcus, longtime treasurer of the club, worked with Velasco for years.

“I’ve known Bart a long time,” he said. “We worked together as business agents here in Jefferson County. He was a good guy and took everything to heart.”

CONDOLENCES
Additional condolences poured in on a post DeMoulin shared on Facebook about Velasco’s passing.

  • “I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for him! Hell of a member, brother, teacher and friend just to hang out with.” – Mike Cato
  • “Definitely one of kind and one of the best. We had some great and crazy times together. You will be missed.”   Daniel Kloeppel
  • “A great Labor leader and a true union brother.” – Stephan Ayres
  • “Such a great person and example to so many.” – Nancy Waggoner Graham
  • “He was a mentor and a friend. Sail on, Brother!” Matt O’Neill 
  • “Bart was so instrumental to my introduction, and understanding the “business” of the local. From day one, he was truly the greatest mentor to me.” – Tom Kenney
  • “You were the face of Jefferson County Labor for many years. Prayers go out to the Velasco family.” – Tim Meadows
  • “A legend for Jefferson County.”
    – Brian Duepner
  • “He was one of the best leaders we had, both as a union and a community.” – Michel Keough
  • “Can’t begin to say enough of all the good this man has done for this local, the community and all the brothers and sisters. Bart you will be greatly missed.” – Ken Lieurance

Velasco’s daughter-in-law Michelle was grateful for the kind words.

“Wow… I am at a loss of words,” she shared on Facebook. “You all have described my father-in-law perfectly. It is absolutely amazing how ONE person impacted so many people. We are so grateful for all of your kind words and prayers.”

IN MEMORIAM
Bother Velasco was the beloved husband of over 55 years of the late Donna C. (nee Dick) Velasco; loving father of Bart (fiancé Denise Fischer) Velasco, Craig (Michelle) Velasco, and Stacy (Eric) Rose; dear grandfather of Taryn (Josh) Robinette, Zachary Velasco, Kayla Velasco, Tony (fiancé Jackeline Rodriguez) Jones, Aaron (Lexi) Jones, Brittanie (James Pyatt) Velasco, and Grant (Zyanne) Shepherd; great-grandfather of Nora Grace Jones, Lyla Mae Pyatt, Odin Durso, Lyra Shepherd, Braiden Rodriguez, Hunter Hall, Mayson Robinette, Cole Robinette, and the late Wyatt Robinette; dear brother of Tony (Sheila) Velasco, Diane Howard, Richard (Peggy) Velasco, Ronald (Carolyn) Velasco, Jim (Mary) Velasco, and the late Henry (Donna) Velasco; dear son of the late Anthony and Diane (nee Castelli) Velasco; our dear cousin, uncle, and friend to many.

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the IBEW Local 1 Relief Committee in memory of Brother Velasco as this was near and dear to his heart.

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