April 2013

Ironworkers Mourn the Loss of First General Vice President George Kratzer

First General Vice President George Kratzer, 62, of Wilmington, Ohio, passed away March 23,
2013 at The Ohio State University Medical Center.

George started as an apprentice ironworker in 1970 with Local 290 (Dayton, Ohio). He became business agent in 1984 and held that position until his appointment as general organizer on July 31, 2000, by General President Jake West. He was named ninth general vice president in 2001 by General President Joseph Hunt, and subsequently elected as a general vice president by the delegates to the International Conventions in 2001, 2006 and 2011, while serving as president of the Iron Workers District Council of Southern Ohio and Vicinity.

Generations of ironworkers were able to earn a good living, raise their families and retire in dignity because of George’s efforts. He tackled the tough jobs with innovation and professionalism, building bridges where others only saw chasms while always keeping our members’ best interests at heart. Management and labor alike respected him because when George Kratzer gave his word it was his bond. George was instrumental in moving our union forward. From organizing to IMPACT to policies of the general executive council, General Vice President Kratzer had a hand in it all and his fingerprints are indelibly etched into the future of our organization. 

Of George’s devotion to union ironworkers, General President Walter Wise said, “George was an ironworker, first and foremost, and never forgot what it was like to walk the iron. He was a champion for the men and women of our union, and as first general vice president was a beloved and extremely qualified leader. He will be missed.”

General Vice President Kratzer is survived by his loving wife Shelley, his daughter Stephanie and granddaughter Maggie.