Beloved North Texas Builder Dies of COVID-19

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A beloved North Texas builder with high-profile construction projects under his belt including AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Field has died of COVID-19.

The new home of the Texas Rangers dubbed foreman supervisor Abel Gallegos 'The Heart of the Ballpark.'

Gallegos left his mark on his family and Texas.

"He loved this country because of everything it has to offer," said his son Jaime Gallegos.

His father immigrated to North Texas from Mexico in the 1970s.

Gallegos later become a U.S. citizen and rose in the ranks of the construction industry in North Texas.

He became a foreman supervisor in several high-profile builds from Kyle Field to the American Airlines Center and Globe Life Field which hailed project leads including Gallegos as the "Heart of the Ballpark."

Gallegos had a hand in building his pride and joy, AT&T stadium, where a brick bears his name.

"He has the shovel that broke ground, just so many things that he accomplished from that stadium and he continued talking about it. It was his pride and joy," his son said.

The 64-year-old contracted COVID-19 in mid-November according to family.

He initially was reluctant to get tested thinking it was the flu.

Gallegos' condition worsened and he was hospitalized for two weeks.

The husband, father and grandfather died last Monday.

Gallegos was not vaccinated but had been keeping the virus at bay by wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer wherever he went, according to his son.

"One of the things he said he couldn't believe it was him, but it was because of his carelessness. He let his guard down," he said.

"It's going to be a rough Christmas not having him here. He was our brick and mortar."

Jim Cuddihee of Manhattan Construction spoke with NBC 5 about Gallegos, calling him, "A great man. Very humble, cared very deeply about his family. Right behind that, Abel was the best builder I've ever been around in my career."

The industry veteran was known for his dedication to his work and crewmembers as well as his 'can-do' attitude.

"There was nothing Abel wasn't able to figure out," said Cuddihee. "No matter what you brought to Abel, he'd figure out a way to get it done and get it done in a very high-quality level."

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