Tom Worley, 1935-2014

Tom Worley, a retired business manager of Portland Iron Workers Local 29, passed away at his home in Ridgefield, Washington, Jan. 13, a few weeks shy of his 79th birthday.

Thomas J. Worley was born Jan. 22, 1935, to Clarence and Mary Worley in Seattle. He was  the fifth of eight children.

The family moved to Portland when Tom was in the first grade. He attended Central Catholic High School, then enlisted in the United States Navy in the Korean War. He served from February 1952 to January 1956, and spent 18 months on a ship in wartime waters off the coast of Korea.

Worley began his career in the Iron Workers Union when he entered its apprenticeship program on Sept. 1, 1958. He helped build the Interstate Bridge connecting Vancouver, Washington, and Portland across the Columbia River; and he was the general foreman on the construction of the Fremont Bridge over the Willamette River.

Tom Worley
Tom Worley

Worley served on the union’s Executive Board and Examining Board, was vice president, and was president of the Iron Workers Credit Union.

He worked as an assistant business agent for nine years while his brother LeRoy was the business agent and financial secretary-treasurer. After LeRoy moved up to the post of international representative, Tom later was elected as Local 29’s business manager.

Tom Worley retired in 1993.

He was named into the Northwest Oregon Labor Retirees Council’s Labor Hall of Fame  in July 2002.

Worley is survived by his wife of 60 years, Unette; two daughters, Unette Marie and Mary Ann; two sons, Tom Jr. and Douglas; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His sons are members of Iron Workers Local 29.

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