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Connecticut News


Lineworker’s Tribute Comes Full Circle

Feb 25, 2022

The son of a lineworker who died on the job years ago is thanking an Eversource employee for paying tribute to his dad in a special way.

Tony Gasper’s father, Francis (Frank) Gasper, was killed in an accident while restoring power after a storm in 1989. Tony said his family recently received metal tags that had been attached to a utility pole in West Hartford where the accident happened soon after his death in his memory. The tags read, “At this pole on August 22, 1989, Francis Gasper died while restoring power after a violent storm. He was a good lineman and a friend. God bless him.”

Francis Gasper 1

When the utility pole had to be replaced, the workers taking it down removed the tags and sent them to the Gasper family. Tony had no idea someone put the tags up in his dad’s memory, but when he received them, he mounted them to a piece of a wooden pole and created a small memorial in his garden for his father.

“They are a treasured memento to me and my family,” Tony said.

pole tags photo resized

Months later, while working in his office as Superintendent of Wolcott Public schools, Tony had an unexpected visitor. Jim Kennedy, a Senior Supervisor of Electric Operations for Eversource.  Jim was working at a jobsite nearby when someone mentioned that Frank Gasper’s son worked down the street; Jim knew he had to meet him. He had worked as an apprentice lineman under Frank in the 1980s and they had become friends.

“He was a good guy and a great lineworker.  I learned a lot from him,” Jim remembered.

Jim and Tony shared stories about Frank. They talked about his work ethic and dedication to his job. At one point, Tony mentioned the memorial tags in his garden.

“I told him that I was the one who put them there more than thirty years ago,” Jim said. “I wanted to put something up that was a tribute to Frank. Something that other linemen would find sometime in the future and appreciate it.”

“Not knowing who had put up the tags, and then the coincidence of having Jim walk into my office—it was definitely a goosebumps kind of moment,” Tony said. “It makes the memento of having those tags just all that much more poignant.”

Eversource lineworkers go through a rigorous five-year apprenticeship with an intense focus on safe work practices.  

Tony said he has a deep appreciation for all lineworkers do, and thanks to Jim, he’ll always have a very special and permanent reminder of his father.

Tony Gasper and Jim Kennedy - resized