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June 12, 2023 | Around the NASRCC

NASRCC Mourns Loss of Brother David Dow, First EST of the NERCC

NASRCC Mourns Loss of Brother David Dow, first Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters

David Dow, who served as the first Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, passed away this weekend at the age of 73.

Proudly hailing from Charlestown, Massachusetts, Dow followed in the footsteps of his father,  joining Carpenters Local 218 (now 328) in 1978 and became almost immediately involved in union activity. He became a trustee for the local in 1986 and a business agent in 1988, bringing with him a wide array of political relationships he would use to benefit the union throughout his career.

Dow’s political experience and connections played a part in his selection as a business agent. He knew well not just elected officials, but their consultants and their office and campaign staffs. He used those relationships to make the Carpenters union enthusiastic and reliable regulars on the campaign trail and vastly increased the union’s political clout. During his career, he played leading roles in important elections won by Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry as well as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and other mayors in the area. He was also the lead coordinator for the Carpenters union in the successful campaign to defeat ballot question #2, would have repealed prevailing wage laws, in 1988.

In 1989, Dow became executive secretary-treasurer of the former Boston District Council of Carpenters and later the Vice President of the former Massachusetts Council of Carpenters and chair of the Carpenters Combined Benefits Funds of Massachusetts.

When UBC General President Douglas McCarron was elected in 1995, he began to consolidate the strength of the union to match the industry by creating regional councils. When he dissolved layers of district and state councils to form the New England Regional Council of Carpenters in 1996, he appointed Dow as its first leader. Dow would go on to serve as a special assistant to the general president before leaving that position to work in municipal government.

He would return to union involvement in 1997, winning election to the office of president of the council and, later, to full-time work for the union. Dow served in various capacities, including a significant role in the redevelopment and construction of the Carpenters Center and as the regional manager for former Local Unions 26, 111, 275 and 475 (now Local 339) in Northeast Massachusetts. He retired in 2016.

UBC Second General President Tom Flynn considered Dow a close friend and mentor. He pointed to the practical and constructive way Dow approached his work with the union as an example he still tries to emulate.

“Dave not only loved the camaraderie and Brotherhood between members, he loved the operation of the union. He was ambitious, but he was also realistic and shrewdly practical whether it was on the campaign trail or in the council offices,” Flynn said. “His lifelong passion for politics and the knowledge of how politics could advance opportunities for our members and contractors is what inspired a whole generation of carpenters to become politically active.

“Every time I visit or drive by our building in Dorchester, I think of Dave’s vision and commitment to making sure that we had a world-class headquarters and training center that was seen and envied by so many. Like many others, I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to benefit from his wisdom and loyalty.”

Dow leaves his wife, Doris, three children–one of whom is a proud member of Carpenters Local 328–and other family.


Relatives and friends are invited to attend a period of Visitation on June 19, 2023, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, at the Cartmell-Davis Life Celebration Funeral Home, 373 Court Street, PLYMOUTH. A Memorial Service will begin at 12:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cranberry Hospice, 36 Cordage Park Circle, Suite 326, Plymouth, MA 02360. For more information or to sign the online guestbook, please visit