Brett McEnroe and Roy Powell loved their families and their jobs.
Over nearly three decades, they worked steel for big projects in the Hudson Valley and New York City.
For Powell, it was a family business.
When McEnroe wasn’t on a job, he worked on the side, a friend said.
Today, their family and friends are mourning the loss of these mid-Hudson Valley men, killed in a sudden, tragic incident on the job.
McEnroe, 49, of Dover Plains, and Powell, 51, of New Paltz, were pronounced dead at New York City hospitals following a 911 call at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The men fell from the fifth floor through an open elevator shaft at a church construction site, where they were installing steel. The men were working on a planned expansion of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan as part of a four-person crew.
McEnroe, a married father of two, died at Roosevelt Hospital. Powell, who was married and had a son, died at St. Luke’s Hospital.
McEnroe’s wife, Dorothy McEnroe, said her husband worked on repair projects for the Newburgh-Beacon and Tappan Zee bridges. In recent years, he was based in New York City. In his leisure time, he enjoyed weightlifting and trips to the Caribbean , she said.
“He was a loving husband, father and son,” she said.
Locally, McEnroe worked on the Gap warehouse in Fishkill, IBM East Fishkill and the Palisades Center mall in Rockland County, said Michael Gaydos, business manager at Local 417 and a close friend.
“I worked on almost every job with him,” Gaydos said. “We worked on every bridge in the Hudson Valley, from the Tappan Zee to the Mid-Hudson Bridge … and the Kingston-Rhinecliff.”
McEnroe loved working, and when he wasn’t working, he was working on a side project, Gaydos said.
“I never would have imagined things going this way,” he said. “He and I had big plans when we retired .”
Powell was a member of Ironworkers Local 40 in Manhattan. McEnroe was a member of Local 417 in Wallkill, said Bob Walsh, business manager for Local 40.
Powell came from a family of ironworkers. His father was an ironworker, and his son, now in his 20s, also is an ironworker, Walsh said.
“He was a very hard-working ironworker. A very good family man,” he said.
Powell was a member of Local 40 since 1994 and belonged to the union since the early 1980s, he said.
Powell worked on projects for the George Washington Bridge and the Tribeca Grand Hotel, among many others, Walsh said.
A woman who answered the phone at Powell’s home said the family was taking it hard and would not be able to comment.