UPDATED: The Passing of General President Emeritus Joseph Nigro

Published: October 24, 2018

Last updated on November 5th, 2018

The General President, General Secretary Treasurer, General Executive Council, Staff of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers and the members and officers of SMART affiliates across the U.S. and Canada mourn the death of our esteemed brother and a legendary crusader for working people everywhere, SMART General President Emeritus Joseph J. Nigro.

Joe was a proud member of Local Union 17 in Boston and served as General President from July 2011 until April 1, 2015. In a letter to the locals and membership upon his retirement, he stated, “I have committed my heart and mind to accomplishing the goals we have set, but my health has taken me in a direction I did not anticipate. Unfortunately, I have been unable to recover to a level I expect of myself as your General President—the level of effort the members deserve”. A fitting response from Joe, who always gave the membership 100% of what he believed they deserved.

Nigro was the first General President of SMART and the leader of our more than 200,000 members. At the first SMART Convention Joe, who was very proud of SMART leadership at all levels stated, “we have had some successes and have laid the groundwork for moving forward, I have every confidence we have collectively built a team of International and Local Union leaders who can get the job done for the membership.”

Joe Nigro’s vision, guidance, kindness and sense of humor will live on to inspire not only those whose lives he touched, but also future generations of members who will benefit from his leadership. We will forever miss his friendship and unwavering support.

He will always be remembered as the “Members General President”. A title he richly deserved and cherished.

A viewing is scheduled 2 to 7 p.m. Monday, October 29th, 2018, at Sweeney Funeral Home, 74 Elm St., Quincy, MA 02169. The funeral home can be contacted at (617) 773-2728.

A funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, October 30th, 2018, in Most Holy Sacrament Church (Houghs Neck Section of Quincy), 40 Darrow St. (at Sea Street) in Quincy, MA 02169.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:

“SMWI Scholarship Foundation/Joey Nigro Jr.”

c/o Christy Foley

1750 New York Avenue N.W. Suite 600

Washington, DC 20006


Cards can be sent to Pat Nigro and family at 5296 N. Princewood Drive, Beverly Hills, FL 34465.

Our hearts and prayers go out to Pat, Tina and the entire Nigro family on their irreplaceable loss.



Joseph Sellers, Jr.                                                               Richard L. McClees

General President                                                               General Secretary-Treasurer