Thomas Cerra of Wheeling, WV died Saturday, June 22, 2019.

He was born October 28, 1937 in Benwood, WV and was preceded in death by his parents, Anthony and Christina Cerra.

He is survived by his son, Bryan; fiancee, Brenda Shane; brother, Jim; niece, Tina Marie Cerra; grandchildren, Makayla, Angelina and Wyatt Cerra; and bonus grandchildren, Anna and Maria Shane.

Tom was a graduate of Union High School, served in the Army Reserve of West Virginia and graduated from West Liberty State College.

He spent nearly 50 years as executive director of the Ohio Valley Construction Employers Council, redefining the role of labor relations in the construction industry locally, state-wide and nationally.

He was one of the founding members and chairman of Project BEST, which is the standard for labor relations excellence nationally, and served as its master of ceremonies and entertainment at the annual breakfasts.

Tom served on and/or was chairman of The Ohio County Development Authority; First Board of Governors’ of WVNCC; WV Laborers and Iron Workers Health & Welfare, Pension Funds and Apprenticeship Committee; the joint apprenticeship committees for Bricklayers, Carpenters Local #3, Cement Masons & Plasterers, Ohio Carpenters, Painters, Roofers and Sheet Metal Workers.

His influence was game changing and far reaching, including the naming of The Highlands.

A proud Italian-American, he was an original founder and first chairman of the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival.

While the extent of his contributions to the state of West Virginia may be measured by a Congressional Record submitted to the 115th Congress by Senator Joe Manchin, those of us who knew him well know his contributions to our lives are immeasurable.

Tom was a life-long Steelers fan; former West Virginia State bodybuilding champion; amateur writer and director; avid cowboy (a.k.a. Rigatoni Rider); and champion of Italian Americans. Amidst all his endeavors, he still made time to be a loving father, fiance, brother, uncle, grandfather, cousin and a friend that a friend would love to have.

Tom had a way of making you smile, and sometimes cringe, while he articulated his thoughts on how he felt things should move forward. If his directives happened to conflict with your interests, it was rumored he would elicit the services of Uncle Nunzio to assist you in seeing it his way. There won’t be another like him.

Friends will be received from noon-3 and 5-8 p.m. Friday at Altmeyer Funeral Home, Elm Grove Chapel, 154 Kruger St., Wheeling. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 29, 2019, at St. Michael Church, with the Rev. Martin Smay as celebrant. Interment will follow in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Wheeling.

Memorial contributions may be made to the J.B. Chambers Memorial Y.M.C.A, 55 Lounez Ave., Wheeling, WV 26003; or West Liberty University, 208 University Drive, West Liberty, WV 26074. Contributions can also be made online at

Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.altmeyerfuneral