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AFSCME mourns the loss of IVP Dan DiClemente

AFSCME mourns the loss of IVP Dan DiClemente
By Aaron Gallant ·
Tags: Our Stories
AFSCME mourns the loss of IVP Dan DiClemente
Dan DiClemente (left) with AFSCME President Lee Saunders (center) and former Council 66 Recording Secretary Barbara Zarpentine (right)

Rochester, NY—AFSCME and the labor movement lost a champion on June 23, when Daniel (Dan) S. DiClemente passed away at the age of 56. He was surrounded by his family and friends in his hometown of Rochester, New York.

The former president of AFSCME Council 66 and an AFSCME International Vice President, Brother DiClemente continued his life’s work on behalf of the union members and communities he cared so much about throughout his brave fight against cancer.

He became active in the labor movement at a young age when he worked as a glazier. He went on strike as a member of a building trades union and went on to work as a custodian at the Rochester City School District in 1992.

DiClemente quickly became a respected leader and served as president of the Board of Education Non-Teaching Employees (BENTE/AFSCME) Local 2419 for 21 years. During that time, he helped lift many school support workers from poverty to the middle class. His goal was to ensure a good union job for every one of his fellow BENTE members. And time and time again, he achieved that goal in one of the most impoverished school districts in the country.

In 2017, he became president of AFSCME Council 66 and went on to lead the union of more than 8,000 members across Upstate New York and the Hudson Valley. He rapidly built Council 66 into a powerful force. Ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court's attempt to gut public service unions in the Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 decision, DiClemente rallied Council 66 members to organize for our shared values.

Even after he was diagnosed with stage four cancer in January 2020, he continued fighting for working people, ensuring that union members were protected on the job during the COVID-19 pandemic. And in his final days, he was holding organizing conversations with health care professionals from his hospital bed in Cleveland.

Last year, he was honored by the New York State Assembly and Senate, as well as by Congressman Joe Morelle for his years of service to working people.

In a letter announcing his retirement earlier this month, DiClemente wrote that the union has “gifted me purpose, hope, and community. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been worth it.”

DiClemente was loved and admired not only for what he did, but for who he was: a devoted father, husband, son and brother, as well as a true mentor, colleague and friend to many. And when times got tough, as they often did throughout DiClemente’s tenure in the labor movement, people knew that he always had their back.

DiClemente is preceded in death by his mother, Mary Jane. He is survived by his wife Laura; his daughters Stephanie and Katie; his father Anthony; and brothers Anthony and Steven.

DiClemente’s family is facing significant out-of-pocket costs. All are invited to contribute to his family’s GoFundMe page.

Visitation will be held Thursday, June 27, from 4-7 p.m. ET at New Comer Cremations & Funerals, 2636 Ridgeway Ave. A funeral mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday, June 28, at St. Lawrence Church, 1000 N. Greece Rd. in Rochester, New York.

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