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Marcus Vasquez

Marcus Vasquez

Inducted 2014

Marcus L. Vasquez (April 9, 1934 - October 9, 2009) began his lifelong career in 1954 when he worked as an apprentice bricklayer under the watchful eye of his uncle, Francis Sills, at Fruin Colnon in St. Louis. In 1956, he left to serve his country as a helicopter mechanic when he was drafted into the army. Even with time spent away, upon his return in 1958, he did not hesitate to continue working in the masonry trade, being employed by two area contractors until 1967. After 13 years as an apprentice/journeyman bricklayer and with six kids under the age of 10, Marcus L. Vasquez ventured into the masonry business known as M.L. Vasquez, Inc. in the spring of 1967. Until his retirement in 2003, Marc not only created and managed a successful business, but formed a legacy of dedication and purpose to his trade.

As time evolved, he mastered the bidding and financial aspect of his company, while simultaneously having an extreme desire to promote the Southern Illinois masonry industry. In 1978 Marcus Vasquez was in the forefront of forming the Southwestern Illinois Mason Contractors Association, known now as the Masonry Institute of Southern Illinois. Throughout the next quarter century, Marc attended nearly every regularly scheduled meeting, coordinated and joined in countless bricklayer and laborer negotiations, and served as an officer for SWIMCA and MISI organizations. In addition, he acted as Executive Director for MISI, attended numerous MCAA annual conventions from the west to east coasts, and was a trustee for the Bricklayers’ Local No. 8 Pension, Health & Welfare Boards. Furthermore, he served as a board member with the International Masonry Institute and was a long-time member of MCAA. His influence established mason tender certification boards in two laborers’ district councils in Southern Illinois. For job efficiency, he demanded that the Southern Illinois mason tenders act as equipment operators, exclusively for the masonry trade, which is now part of the Southern Illinois Laborer Agreements. Also, because of his strong belief for continuing education, he orchestrated numerous trainings for those in the masonry industry. These leadership contributions most certainly benefited all Southern Illinois masonry contractors.

Marc was pleased to see the Masonry Institute of Southern Illinois regular meetings grow from an average of three attendees in the early years to twenty plus contractors and associate member/suppliers consistently attending. He enjoyed and valued the camaraderie among the masonry contractors at meetings and social events, momentarily setting aside the business competitiveness, not only at the local level, but nationally as well.

He proudly conveyed his passion of masonry contracting and the promotion of the industry to three of his seven children. His oldest son, Mark, began his residential masonry company in 1987. Meanwhile, his daughter, Lori, and son, Rodney, purchased his business, M.L. Vasquez, Inc., in 2003. Presently, both sons, Mark and Rodney, remain active members of the Masonry Institute of Southern Illinois. Mark is currently holding the office of vice president of the Masonry Institute of Southern Illinois. Both are also members of the Mason Contractors Association of America. Additionally, they both are trustees on the Bricklayers’ Local No. 8 Pension, and Health & Welfare Boards. Furthermore, Rodney is a member of the Bricklayers’ Local No. 8 Apprentice Board. Moreover, his daughter, Lori, had performed administrative duties for the Masonry Institute of Southern Illinois for approximately ten years, and his daughter-in-law, Lynn, is presently the Executive Director of the Masonry Institute of Southern Illinois, having been the administrative assistant since 1989. It is evident through the continuation of his children’s contributions to the masonry industry, that the old adage stands strong, ”Children learn what they lived.”

Even after his retirement, Marc’s fervor and talent in the masonry field continued. In November of 2004, he joined a Christian mission group who traveled to Lesotho, South Africa, to build a church “block by block.” This two-week trip AT AGE 70 gave Marc great satisfaction to create a building with such purpose to the local village people.

Marc was often heard repeating a quote by Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Consequently, Marc never really did “work!”

It is impossible to truly convey Marc’s altruism with his time, energy and finances. It is obvious that he was a tireless leader in the masonry trade throughout Southern Illinois for decades.

Plaque Engraving

Career began in 1954 as an apprentice bricklayer. Founded M.L. Vasquez, Inc. in 1967. Was in the forefront of forming the Southwestern Illinois Mason Contractors Association (SWIMCA) in 1978. Coordinated bricklayer and laborer negotiations. Served as an officer for SWIMCA and Masonry Institute of Southern Illinois (MISI). Acted as Executive Director for MISI. Trustee for the Bricklayers’ Local No. 8 Pension, Health & Welfare Boards. Served as a board member with the International Masonry Institute. Long-time member of MCAA. At age 70, traveled to South Africa for two weeks to build a church. His contributions to the industry benefited all Southern Illinois mason contractors.

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