NORTH BERGEN, NJ (January 12, 2021) – The International Longshoremen’s Association lost one of its best today – Lewis Brown. A powerful figure with a gentle heart. A generous man with an engaging personality. A proud longshoreman and ILA member. Lew Brown was “Everyman” but he did extraordinary things in his life.
He was the loyal, trusting friend to ILA International President Harold Daggett who provided him with wise counsel. The bonds between the Brown family and the Daggett family were more powerful than a steel container. Harold Daggett and Lew Brown were tighter than brothers and their sons – Harold’s Dennis and John and Lewis’ Sean, Lisa, Phil, and Lewis – continued that loving connection.
ILA members from Maine to Texas, the Great Lakes, Puerto Rico and Eastern Canada witnessed the powerful presence of Lew, who would man the sign-in desks at conventions and wage scale negotiations and extend respect and admiration to every member he met.
He could look like a linebacker coming at you, but he’d embrace you, not tackle, with a mighty hug. He could tell you about linebackers in football; centerfielders in baseball; and left wings in hockey. A fiery sports fan who played and loved so many different sports, and who tutored his son, Sean, to become one of New Jersey’s most outstanding and two-sport All-Star in football and baseball. About Sean, ILA’s Dennis Daggett noted: “Sean is the best athlete to come out of Sparta and that was a testament to the work his Dad put in with him.”
A loving family man – husband, father, grandfather. Especially beloved by his children Lisa, Phil, Lewis and Sean. Adored by his 12 grandchildren- a dozen gifts to sweet Lew. Cherished by so many, including his fellow longshoreman and longtime friend, Bobby Rispoli.
A proud American and fierce Patriot who served his beloved country with honor in the United States Air Force and always exemplified that ILA also means: “I Love America!”
He entered the ILA with Local 1235 and made his way to ILA Local 1804-1 where destiny brought him to maintenance and one of the first at Express Rails and closer to President Harold Daggett.
“Lew Brown was as special a person as you could find on this earth,” reflected Harold Daggett. “His impact on my life was profound and he leaves a void that is irreplaceable. Farewell friend. You will be remembered forever in our hearts.”