Jim Ong, Ohio State Legislative Board Chairman
BLET Ohio State Legislative Board Chairman J.F. "Jim" Ong died on April 15 after a four month battle with cancer. Brother Ong was 62 years old.
He is survived by his wife, Carol; three children, J.J. Ong, Jennifer Ong and Heather Lutz; three grandchildren, Harris Ong, Mallory Ong and Ben Worley; two brothers, John Ong and Joe Ong; various in-laws; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Brother Ong was just re-elected Chairman of Ohio State Legislative Board on April 11. He joined the Brotherhood on Dec. 1, 1975, and was a member of Division 292 in Beach City, Ohio. He began serving on the Ohio State Legislative Board in 1978.
"On the behalf of the officers, staff and members of the BLET, I extend our deepest condolences to Jim's family," said BLET National President Don M. Hahs. "His proximity to our headquarters in Cleveland allowed him to visit us often. The staff and officers enjoyed his visits and remain grateful for his hard work and devotion to the Brotherhood. Brother Ong was a valuable asset to our organization and he will be greatly missed.
"Jim was loved by all who knew him. He worked tirelessly for the members in the state of Ohio. He was involved in all of the major legislative and election campaigns that the Brotherhood worked on."
Brother Ong was the last fireman ever hired by the Penn Central Railroad. He later earned promotion to locomotive engineer at the Penn Central. Later, as a Conrail engineer, he worked in terminals throughout the system, ranging from Grand Central Terminal in New York to Indianapolis in the West. He later worked for the Wheeling & Lake Erie in Ohio.
As Chairman of the BLET's Ohio State Legislative Board, Brother Ong served as chief lobbyist in the state, with his office located in Columbus. He was a member of the BLET's National Association of State Legislative Board Chairmen and served as vice chairman for the 17-state Northeast Region. He was responsible for coordinating legislative efforts among the states in that region.
In addition to his work for the BLET, he was involved in the National Association of Veteran Railroad Employees and the Masons. For the past 25 years, he and his wife have operated the Northview Residential Care facility in Dennison. In 2005, Brother Ong was honored to serve as the Grand Marshal for the annual Dennison Railroad Festival parade in Dennison, Ohio.
According to his family, Jim will be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather. His knack to solve problems and make everyone laugh will be missed. He was well-known for his storytelling ability and was always quick with a joke and willing to lend a helping hand.
Donations in memory of Brother Ong can be made to the American Diabetes Association, Northeast Ohio Office (1815 W. Market Street, Suite 108, Akron, Ohio 44313).
Dorothy Cassidy, wife of former BLET International VP Joe Cassidy
Dorothy Cassidy, the wife of former BLE International Vice-President Joe Cassidy Jr., passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on May 11.
Dorothy Cassidy is also the mother of New York State Legislative Board Secretary Kelly Cassidy.
"On behalf of the entire Brotherhood, I extend deepest condolences to Joe and Kelly Cassidy, as well as their entire family," said BLET National President Don M. Hahs. "This is particularly sad news considering the suddenness of Dorothy's passing, which comes so soon after their retirement."
Dorothy retired in August of 2002 while Joe retired in November of 2002.
The couple married in 1972, the year before Joe won his first elected office with the BLE. Joe hired out with the Long Island Railroad in 1970 and served as General Chairman of the LIRR General Committee of Adjustment from 1982-1991. He was elected International Vice-President of the BLE in 1991, winning reelection in 1996 and 2001.
In addition to Kelly, the couple has two other children, Joe III and John.
Cards of condolence may be sent to:
© 2006 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen