As we proceed to the fall season, unfortunately we have once again been hit with unpleasant circumstances.

We were recently informed that former Local 481 steward and negotiating committee member Deborah (Deb) Hewitt has passed away.

Deb Hewitt joined our Teamsters 481 family in 1982 as an Animal Care employee at the San Diego Zoo. She served for many years at the Zoo Hospital and the Children’s Zoo in addition to several other work areas throughout her 34-year career.

After many years of providing support to her Union, Sister Hewitt became more involved and served as a steward and participated in contract negotiations.

For those of you who knew or worked with Sister Hewitt, she was as tough as nails and from firsthand experience I can assure all of you that she really was.

However, at the same time, I can vouch for the fact that Deb had a kind and compassionate side as well. She was always willing to lend help and assistance to anyone in need whether it was someone in her own department or any other work area. She took the role of steward to heart and it showed.

In addition to this news of our Sister Deb Hewitt’s passing, we have also been informed that long term member, steward and retiree Steven (Steve) Brewer has passed away.

Steve Brewer joined our Teamsters family in 1965 as a UPS Driver and member of Local 542. Eventually he joined Local 481 as a Porter until his retirement in 2000.

Brother Brewer served Local 481 in countless roles both official and unofficial which was exactly how Steve liked it. Having a title was never his intention or motivation. Rather, being available to assist and support his union was always the focus.

Along with Brother Jim Joiner who you may also recall recently passed away, Steve Brewer is also in the category of going beyond the call of duty. When you needed to know what may have happened in the past and consult with someone to figure out how to address a current situation, Steve Brewer was a reliable source of information and guidance that you could always count on. When Steve Brewer told you something, you could take it to the bank. He always represented the gold standard in all matters.

Steve never viewed himself as being an expert on anything, but what Brother Brewer may not have realized is that in his own Steve Brewer way, many of us relied on his knowledge and experience of how to properly conduct business. To be acquainted with someone like Steve is a gift. His mild-mannered way of sharing information with others was his way of teaching you a lesson about something that would stay with you long after the discussion ended.

His commitment to his union did not end after his retirement in 2000 after 35 years of service at UPS. Steve continued to make himself available to all of us. He participated in our social activities, labor related activities with the San Diego Labor Council and any other function that came up.

Steve was also the first person to step forward to pay his respect to family members of our members or others who were facing the heart ache and struggles with losing a loved one. His presence at countless memorial services connected with Local 481 always provided comfort to all involved. Setting the highest example of dignity and respect for others is a legacy that Steve Brewer will always be remembered for.

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we send our sincere condolences to the Hewitt family and the Brewer family and their many dear friends and coworkers. Thank you for sharing Deborah and Steven with us. Please know that they will both be forever missed, but never forgotten.

Rest in peace Sister Deb Hewitt. Rest in peace Brother Steve Brewer.

On the political front, November 8, 2022, marks the midterm general election in California and across the country. Make sure you are registered to vote and participate in the process.

In scholarship news, we are proud to announce that Yanitza Millan (daughter of UPS member Hans Millan) is a recipient of one of the Teamsters Joint Council 42 scholarship awards. Congratulations to the Millan Family.

The Local 481 2022 Scholarship Program has just closed. Announcements are forthcoming later this month. Thank you to all who have participated.