Tributes pour in for Ken Roos

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 First Vice President Ken Roos died Sunday after a brief illness. The impact of his loss is immeasurable and since his passing the tributes have been steadily arriving from members, community partners and politicians.

Here are some of those tributes:

“Ken was the personification of ‘The Union.’ He was always the first to stand up for those in need, always very generous. To so many of us, he was a steady leader, a union brother, a great friend.”

– Germano Martins

“Ken Roos was a great guy and a fighter for worker rights and justice for all. He was dedicated to making the world a better place by working as an advocate for all workers, I will miss his kindness and dedication.”

– Owen David

“Ken was my hero. He was a gentle, yet powerful, advocate for all things good. I knew Ken best as the longtime leader of the SEA Political Education Committee. Because of Ken, I got to meet, listen to and shake hands with Barack Obama and many other candidates for public office. Ken was an inspiration for me. I am deeply saddened that he is gone and I will miss him dearly.”

– Joan Hamblet

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of my former colleague, Ken Roos. Over the course of a decade at DHHS, I had many occasions to interact with Ken. In a few words: passionate, creative, perseverance, kind, thoughtful, great humor, and a hard worker. Whatever he stood for was based on principle and always had the needs of others above himself. While his life has been cut short and denied the opportunity to relax and spend more time with his family, they, and we, can take comfort in a man who leaves an enduring legacy in our State. Rest in peace my friend.”

– Nick Toumpas

“Very sad to learn of Ken’s passing. He was and will remain an example of total dedication to Family, fellow workers everywhere, and his life’s work with NH SEA/SEIU1984. On behalf of the hundreds of members of the Department of Safety, State Employees Association, Chapter 40, I wish to express our deepest condolences to Ken’s family and fellow workers. Rest in Peace good friend.”

– James Kowalik – President

“Ken Roos taught me how to stand on lines and take up causes and to fight. Diligently, sign after sign, picket after picket. The patience of if you don’t succeed you just keep picking up a sign, standing on a line and fighting for what you believe in. And his legacy is not only in the love and pride he had for his wife and children but in the inspiration as carry on his legacy fighting injustice.

But I also called Ken my friend and the man was funny! Oh was he funny! The last interaction I had with Ken was a text he sent me at the end of June. Ken sent me a picture of the name “Brenda” tattooed on a man’s upper back in many times and in many fonts– with the message from Ken “U have a secret admirer!” – my response – “I love ya Ken! That is pretty awesome!” That was Ken. Always making all of us smile. I hope he knows how much he meant to so many and that every once in a while we made him smile.”

– Brenda Thomas

“Ken Roos personified public service and worked tirelessly towards helping people especially by empowering working people everywhere through strengthening organized labor and our Union the New Hampshire State Employees Association. He was a great leader both as First Vice-President and on the SEA’s Political Education Committee and I’m proud to have served with him on that committee. Ken will always be my friend and even though I’ll miss his wit and wisdom everyday he’ll continue inspiring us all in the fight towards making this a just society for everyone.”

– John S. Hancock

“While working for BEAS, I periodically sat with Ken in his little office to discuss budget issues. His office was filled with memorabilia and meaningful photos. He was most proud of his family and the activities they did together. During the 2016 election, I met up with him and Jodi at St. Anselm’s. Ken’s commitment to workers, their right to organize and the importance of the SEA was unwavering. Rest In Peace, Ken…your presence here meant so much to so many.”

– Donna M. Mombourquette

“Ken and I not only worked in the same unit but our cubbies were next to each other’s and with that came a wide grinned greeting from Ken every morning holding a cup of coffee and mostly a muffin from the cafeteria. We shared lot of stories in between our work breaks, his sense of humor and his passion for social justice made me admire Ken so much. Today as I work I am staring across his cubby where his daughter’s picture with same smile like Ken’s facing me. Ken has few other beautiful family pictures on the shelves to which I keep walking across to look at. I will no longer see Ken in real person. Ken poured his heart out with support when I lost my mom two months ago in a similar situation. As my mom’s loss is fresh in my heart, I can’t believe, Ken who offered me so much support and checked on me so often is no longer here with us. You were a special person, a great soul and will always remain very special. Miss you Ken.”

– Aparna N Bhattarai

“I will always remember Ken’s courage, standing forth at all our cause. Your memory will always live
when there is justice to be done, Ken. Rest in peace.”

– Thea Aloise

“Only in this past year did I have the pleasure to begin working with Ken Roos. And although this opportunity was fleeting I was impressed with Ken’s dedication to “the cause” and the amount of knowledge and aptitude he brought to the table. He will be missed.”

– James Weaver

“I met Ken when I ran for State Rep from East Concord and I knocked on his door. I ended up getting endorsed by the SEA, but more importantly I made a good friend. I loved running into him on election day … And at the grocery store. It was always great to spend a few moments with Ken. He fought for things that really mattered and I will miss him.”

– Ben Venator

“I was deeply saddened to hear of Ken’s passing. He was a very dedicated public servant who gave all he had to promoting the Union and working for the rights of all members. Rest in peace Ken.”

– Carole Totzkay

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