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William J. LoPiano

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William J. LoPiano Obituary
LoPiano, William J.
Dr. William J. LoPiano, affectionately known as Bill, or William J., was born August 2, 1926, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the second youngest of nine children born to Salvatore and Ignacia LoPiano. He passed away September 28, 2015, at Sunrise Senior Living in Chandler, Arizona. He grew up in Lawrence, later serving in the US Army during last two years of WWII. Following the war, he enrolled in Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, where he completed his Doctor of Chiropractic degree, and additional training at the former Los Angeles College of Chiropractic in Glendale, California. He also completed his bachelor's degree in business at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas. He arrived in Arizona in 1952, and opened his first chiropractic office in downtown Tempe. He served in a number of Republican political organizations, and was elected to terms with the Tempe Board of Adjustment (1960), and Board of Freeholders (1964). From 1964 to 1966, he served on the committee which oversaw Tempe's transition to charter government. The city's relationship with Arizona State University was often on the City's agenda while LoPiano served in city government, both were growing quickly, and while occasionally had different approaches, their relationship a smooth one and beneficial one. It was during his tenure as mayor the redevelopment of Mill Avenue and Tempe began in earnest. It was controversial, but necessary, he maintained. He was elected to the Tempe City Council, in 1966, where he served as councilman and vice mayor until 1974. He served as Mayor of Tempe from 1974 to 1978. Bill was also active in a variety of civic and professional organizations, including American Chiropractic Association, Arizona League of Cities and Towns, Maricopa Association of Governments, Tempe Sister Cities, Arizona Historical Society, Rotary International, Tempe Boys Club, Tempe Center for the Handicapped, Arizona Academy, and was also a recipient of the Howard Pyle Award. The thirteen acre LoPiano Bosque Habitat stretches along the north side of Loop 202, between College and Mill Avenue, just south of Papago Park. Volunteers from 26 schools constructed the habitat in 1993, named for him as a member of the first council determined to pursue the dream of the Rio Salado. It serves as a habitat which supports many desert dwelling species, tremendous variety of birds, outdoor classroom for students, also a recreation site for equestrian, pedestrian, and bike users. Volunteers play a significant role maintaining its beauty. In a 2008 interview conducted the Tempe History Museum, he emphasized that as both Councilman, and Mayor, he considered himself to be not the primary decision maker, but one member of a group of people who had the best interests of the city as its guiding principle. It was this team of city leaders which guided Tempe through its astonishing growth. Tempe emphasized quality of life over acquisition of land. It wasn't as dynamic as others, but a steady and thoughtful growth, he reflected. Bill was passionate about maintaining good health. He enjoyed travel, playing bridge and racquetball, National Public Radio, and classical music. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Jean Starr LoPiano, in 1992, and survived by daughters Lisa Lorenzini, of St. Charles, IL, and Marie Merchant of Tempe, six grandchildren, Tyesha, Heileigh, Maurier, Olivia, Luke, and Alec, two great grandchildren, Savannah and Lilly, several cousins, and many nieces and nephews. A memorial service for Bill will be held Saturday, October 10th at 1 pm, at Resthaven Carr-Tenney Mortuary and Memorial Gardens, 4310 E. Southern Avenue, Phoenix, followed by a celebration of life at Riazzi's Restaurant, 2700 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe. His family wishes to express their heartfelt love and gratitude to Sunrise Assisted Living of Chandler, its staff cared so lovingly and generously for Bill the last five plus years, after he suffered an incapacitating stroke in August 2010. Their extraordinary care provided his family additional time with him; we genuinely thank them for honoring our beloved father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

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Published in The Arizona Republic on Oct. 4, 2015
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