April 9, 2012
AFGE Mourns Passing of Local 2617 VP George Bedard
AFGE lost one of our TSO rights champions last week. George “Coach” Bedard passed away on April 1 at his residence following a lengthy illness.
George Bedard was a founding charter member of AFGE TSA Local 2617, which was chartered on Oct. 1, 2008. He had joined AFGE’s national TSA Local 1 before we invited him and New Hampshire to join with Boston AFGE TSA members to form Local 2617. He worked as a Behavior Detection Officer for TSA at Manchester Airport (MHT) and worked for TSA since the agency began right after 9/11.
George was a lifelong union supporter and was in two other unions prior to volunteering to serve his country by working for TSA. George passionately believed in the union and what it can do for employees. He was elected by 100% of Local 2617 members who voted in the Local’s second member election of Executive Board Officers. George proudly served as Local 2617’s New Hampshire Vice President from June 2009 until he passed and as its Interim Local President from September 2011 to January 2012, after which he became terminally ill because of his cancer. George played a key role in increasing MHT’s AFGE TSO voter participation in the historic and victorious TSO election of AFGE as their union representative. As Local 2617 New Hampshire Vice President, he served as a member of New Hampshire’s Manchester Central Labor Council as they supported AFGE’s efforts to restore union rights to TSOs.
George was known for his jokes, big smile and as an excellent family man – always making time for his wife and two daughters. He and his wife marked their 33rd anniversary on March 31, the day before he died. George was also a lifelong New England sports fan, suffering and celebrating through his favorite team’s many up and down seasons.
George was 58. He is survived by his wife Bernadette "Bunny" (Cullerot) Bedard; two daughters, Jessica Ippolito and her husband Randy, and Robyn Malone and her husband Judson; a granddaughter Cadence Malone; two brothers, Richard Bedard and his wife Nancy, and Gerard Bedard and his wife Jenni; many nieces and nephews.