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Remembrance: A Tribute to Vito Longo

Dec. 10, 2021
Vito worked as technology editor of T&D world from 2006 to 2019.

T&D World lost one of our family this year. On Oct. 20, T&D World's former technology editor, Vito Longo, passed away in his home after a battle with cancer. A loving companion of 25 years to his wife, Lori, he was surrounded by his grandchildren. The family is deeply grateful for the love and care of family and friends that have supported them on this health journey.

Vito worked as technology editor of T&D World from 2006 to 2019. He handled the coordination of utility-written articles and helped maintain the integrity of T&D World editorial.

He received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana State University. He was a consultant for several Louisiana rural electric cooperatives. At Power Technologies Inc. in Schenectady, New York, he performed transmission line design criteria studies for international utilities and R&D on compact and high phase order transmission lines. After five years with PG&E, he joined EPRI as a project manager and advanced the state-of-practice in foundation analysis and design, lightning performance calculations, static and dynamic conductor thermal ratings, transmission line optimization studies, and software delivery of research results.

From Steve Lach, long-time sales representative for T&D World:

Being a sales person and then Associate Publisher while Vito worked for T&D World, I was/am what he lovingly referred to as a, “marketing type.” He felt advertising was “necessary evil” to pay for printing our brilliant content.  Being one of the smartest engineers I know, he did not “suffer fools lightly” and there were many times we butted heads over what my clients wanted VS what Vito knew was best for the editorial integrity of the publication. I think/hope Vito eventually came to respect me the way I respected him and how his content helped keep T&D World the most respected title in our industry.  And lest anyone considered Vito “old school,” he was one of the first of our editors to embrace social media. I can remember him tooling around on a one-legged scooter after having knee surgery at a huge industry event. He had purchased several shirts with “Follow me @uncle_vito on Twitter” embroidered on the back shoulder. That was brilliant and alerted us all to the importance of social media.  

After he retired from T&D World, I would get emails from him encouraging me to keep up the good fight against those within our company who didn’t see much future in “print” media. As T&D World and now Utility Products print brands continue to thrive, I know Uncle Vito is proud of us all!

From Nikki Chandler, Associate Content Director:

Vito made sure that everything we accepted and ran in T&D World was of utmost quality and technically sound. He, along with Rick Bush, helped make T&D World the leader in the industry it is now. We plan to continue in that tradition, even as the utility industry transforms and evolves.

I joined T&D World as a freelance online editor the same year that Vito did. He never missed sending me a birthday card, which is unusual! Who sends coworkers birthday cards in the mail anymore? What a way to make me feel special, though.

Then when my father was going through lung cancer, he had his mens' prayer group sign a special card for my dad and mailed it directly to him to say they were praying for him. That meant so much to me, more than he will ever know. Vitos's encouragement helped me through that time, as my dad passed away a few months later.

I am so happy that Vito was able to spend so much time with his family; I really enjoyed seeing pictures and getting updates about his children and grandchildren.

Vito lived in and worked in California, and I live and work in Kansas. My favorite story was when he and I made a bet when the Giants met the Royals in the 2014 World Series. If the Royals won, he would send me something from California; if the Giants won, I had to send him Kansas City barbecue. Well, he enjoyed some Jack Stack Barbecue that year, but at least our Royals came back and won in 2015. 

Vito and I had a lot in common despite being different ages and having different tendencies (engineer vs. writer). We shared a love for Christ and baseball, and of course T&D World.

I will see you again, Vito!

From Rick Bush, retired Editor-in-Chief:

A bright light gone dim.

Vito was my friend. 

Vito was my work confidante.

Vito was my fishing buddy.

Vito was the best technical editor ever to fill the pages of T&D.

Here is how I first met Vito.

I was at the Georgia Power Research Center working with Dr. Bill Black at Georgia Tech and Dale Douglass at PTI to develop and test a dynamic line rating model for overhead lines.

We pitched a research proposal to Dick Kennon, manager of the overhead transmission group at EPRI. Dick had hired Vito to manage projects and I was one of Vito’s first projects.

The resulting Dnyamp software was the most used EPRI software for ten years running. Crazy cool.

When Vito’s gig had run its course at EPRI, he joined me at T&D World. A renaissance man, Vito had an appreciation for art, for technology, for the written word. But where he really shined was in being Vito; a genuine, curmudgeonly, hilarious, sensitive man who loved working alongside the utility engineers who authored the T&D articles that helped shape the future of T&D.

Vito Longo passed away after putting up a good fight against cancer. He loved life, he loved his wife Lori and he loved his God.

 I’ll see Vito again,

 Good bye for now my friend.

To leave your own remembrances and condolences for the family, visit Vito's Tribute Wall.

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