Entrepreneur, philanthropist and past NUCA President, Edward Cruz, passed away on Tuesday, July 14, at his home in Bay Head, N.J., surrounded by his loving family. Former CEO of E.E. Cruz and Co. Inc., Cruz was born in Camarneira, Portugal, on March 22, 1941, the eldest of five children. He emigrated to the United States with his family in 1950 at age nine.
Over his long and illustrious career, Cruz demonstrated what it means to embody the American Dream. While heading E.E. Cruz, he helped to create hundreds of jobs and grow the company into an ENR Top 400 Construction Firm in the United States. On 9/11, E.E. Cruz employees joined the rescue and cleanup effort at World Trade Center (WTC) Ground Zero and, ultimately, the company completed five separate projects at the WTC site. He was a philanthropic leader in his communities. Throughout his life, he continually contributed to a wide variety of charitable organizations and initiatives in the United States and in Portugal.
Cruz served as President of NUCA in 1977, UTCA and The Moles, and on the Board of the General Contractors Association of New York City. He was the recipient of the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Edward F. Watson Medal, awarded by the Board of Trustees for outstanding personal and professional achievement by an alumnus, and was cited as Construction Man of the Year by his New Jersey industry colleagues.
Cruz was a NUCA member for more than 30 years. As President of NUCA, he testified before the Senate and helped to ensure water and sewer funding remained intact in the final passage of the 1977 Clean Water Act. Cruz was also a strong force behind establishing Utility Contractor magazine, which continues to serve the utility and excavation construction industry with important and timely news and information.
Cruz is survived by Sharon, his wife of 51 years, four children and their spouses, 10 grandchildren, whom he called, “his greatest luxury,” extended family and countless friends in both the United States and Portugal.