We mourn the passing of Brother Thomas Berkshire, who had just turned 80 years old on October 7th.
Brother Berkshire was a member of the I.B.E.W. and Local 569 for over 63 years. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, “Tommy” and his family moved to the Imperial Valley, while he was a child. He graduated from El Centro High School, and then attended Imperial Valley Community College for two years.
Tom would follow in his dad’s footsteps to become a Local 447 (El Centro) Apprentice Inside Wireman, in 1964. (In fact, Tom was just 3 years old, when his dad became an Apprentice Wireman at Local 447.) By 1968, Tom had completed his apprenticeship, and was dispatched through Local 569 as a “traveler.” Maybe he knew he was ‘home,’ for 12 years later, Local 447 amalgamated into Local 569, expanding Local 569’s jurisdiction to the Arizona border.
As a journeyman, Tom was dispatched to: Southern Contracting, Arrow Electric, Fischbach & Moore, Bechtel (both Unit 1 and Units 2&3 at San Onofre), Morrow-Meadows (for almost 9 yrs.), Saturn Electric, Interstate, and Chula Vista Electric. He was also dispatched to R.P. Richards as a Foreman, and ran a job for almost 16 months. Tom retired in 2007. The electrical industry is a Berkshire ‘family affair,’ as Tom’s sons, Brian and Jason, are also Local 569 Journeyman Inside Wiremen.
For those who wish to pay their respects, Brother Berkshire will be laid to rest on Monday, November 13th, at the El Cajon Cemetery, located at 2080 Dehesa Road, 92019. The service will begin at Noon.