July 7, 1944 – June 27, 2013

Josephine M. Secci, who for 38 years served as vice president and business manager of Local 2213, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, died Thursday in Buffalo General Medical Center after a long illness. She was 68.

A native of Buffalo, the former Josephine Muscarella worked as a waitress before taking a job as a telephone operator at a company soon acquired by Verizon Communications. At Verizon, Mrs. Secci quickly advanced through the administrative ranks while also serving as an active member of the electrical workers union, where she earned the reputation of being a respected, forceful union officer.

Her husband, Mario, died in 1994.

Mrs. Secci later met her fiance of 18 years, Gary Kruger, when the two were preparing food for a church event at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Depew. When Kruger asked her out, Mrs. Secci, true to her Sicilian roots, offered instead to make him spaghetti and meatballs at her home.

Mrs. Secci is remembered for her commitment to putting others first.

She made charitable contributions to organizations such as Blind Veterans, St. Jude’s Hospital and AMVETS, and volunteered handing out food vouchers and blankets to the homeless.

Survivors include two daughters, Patti Pusateri and Kristen Kruger, and a sister, Carm Daeing.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Monday in Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church, Cheektowaga.