With great sadness the staff and board members at St. Barnabas Senior Services inform you of the passing of our board member, Hank Lacayo. Hank served on the SBSS Board of Directors since 2009, and his involvement with the older adult community we serve continued his lifetime of service to underserved communities.
Hank was a mentor to our President & CEO, Rigo J. Saborio,-“Hank Lacayo, was a stalwart advocate in our community and a mentor to me. I will always remember him fondly and with great admiration for his commitment to underserved communities across the country. We will miss him dearly”.
Hank began his career in 1953 with North American Aviation, and was elected president of the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 887 in 1962. Hank became the first Hispanic to serve as a political director of a national union in 1974, after he was was appointed the National Director of UAW's political and legislative department. He worked as an adviser to the U.S. Department of Labor under the Kennedy and Johnson administration, as a member of President Jimmy Carter’s presidential transition team and as President Bill Clinton’s California deputy campaign director. In August 1963, Hank led a delegation from Los Angeles to join Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington to join a civil rights march.
After retiring from UAW in 1986, Hank continued working in policy, serving five terms as state president of the Congress of California Seniors and as an adviser to the National Association for the Hispanic Elderly.
Hank’s awards and accolades are almost too many to name. He was a pioneer for Latinos in labor movements and politics, and on the Board of Directors for the Ventura County Community Foundation, El Concilio Family Services, La Hermandad Hank Lacayo Youth and Family Center Health Access of California, the Jewish Labor Committee and the California Foundation on Aging and California. Hank also received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters State University from California State University Channel Islands.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to Hank’s wife, Leah and children and extended family and network of friends and colleagues.