James Lomma was a humble and committed industry leader who was known for his professionalism, humanitarianism and lasting friendships.
A crane and specialized transportation industry icon, James “Jimmy” Lomma passed away on Sunday, July 14, 2019 at his home in Staten Island. Born November 24, 1945, Lomma is the son of the late Lillian and Anthony Lomma. A lifelong resident of Staten Island, he graduated from Tottenville High School.
A self-made entrepreneur, Lomma owned several successful enterprises including J.F. Lomma Inc., TES Inc. and New York Crane. His companies provided cranes, trailers and equipment that were involved with landmark buildings throughout the United States, and especially in the New York City region.
A dedicated family man, Lomma looked forward to the tradition of family dinners every Sunday. He is survived by his three children, daughters Jennifer Gabel and Lauren Lomma and son James B. Lomma, as well as his son-in law Steven Gabel, two grandchildren, brother Patrick Lomma and his wife Gail Lomma, and his niece and nephew Jessie and Patrick Lomma.
Lomma was a consummate professional and a well-known leader in the crane and rigging industry. He is a previous president and chairman of the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, and he served on the SC&RA board at the time of his passing. He is a recipient of the SC&RA’s prestigious Golden Achievement Award.
“The entire Lomma family and Jimmy’s broad but tight network of friends and colleagues have lost a great man, brother, father, grandfather, mentor, leader and very loyal friend,” said Joel Dandrea, SC&RA CEO. “If a true measure of a person is how we deal with adversity, Jimmy is atop the ladder. In all his successes and defeats, he always remained humble and optimistic. We’ve truly lost a legend. May he rest in peace.”
Lomma was an advocate for the industry and was a staunch supporter of crane safety and crane operator certification, according to Graham Brent, CEO, NCCCO Foundation.
“Never seeking the limelight, he worked tirelessly to improve attitudes toward lifting practices, and was an early and consistent supporter of NCCCO certification,” Brent said. “His passing is an enormous loss to the industry, but the contributions he made to make the worksite a safer place are indelible, and he will forever be remembered for them.”
A proud American
In an interview with American Cranes & Transport in 2011, Lomma recalled his work at Ground Zero after the attacks of 9-11. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani called Lomma and asked him to dispatch the first cranes to Ground Zero. For six days after the attacks, Lomma didn’t leave Ground Zero, working around the clock with firemen, policemen, ironworkers and others to rescue survivors. Lomma was in charge of all crane operations for several months. It was a grueling assignment, but he wanted to help.
While it wasn’t something he talked about very often, Lomma remembered what he felt and what all Americans felt during that dark time in American history.
“We worked hard,” he said of those hours and days after the tragedy. “America does that. It’s an American thing. We always fight back. They didn’t win.”
Cranes from Lomma’s companies would work at Ground Zero for many years. Lomma was very proud the day that the Freedom Tower topped out in 2014. Two of his company’s tower cranes carefully placed the spire at the symbolic height of 1,776 feet.
Lomma was widely known and respected for his humanitarian efforts. While he never wanted attention for his acts of kindness and charity, he often went to extraordinary lengths to help family, friends and associates.
According to the Staten Island Advance, he loved the ocean and was an avid sport fisherman and boater. He was an accomplished pilot and plane owner. Motorcycles and muscle cars were also hobbies.
A mass of Christian Burial was held on July 17, 2019 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, with interment at Resurrection Cemetery. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.scaliahome.com. Donations in James F. Lomma’s memory can be made to Saint Benedict Abbey, 252 Still River Road, PO Box 67, Still River, MA 01467.