Giampapa Joseph A. Giampapa, husband, lawyer, and cyclist, tragically lost his life-in the prime of his life-while bicycling on Saturday, March 22, 2014 near Troy, Ohio. He was the only son of JoAnn and Amiel Giampapa of Columbus, Ohio. Joe, a graduate of Walnut Ridge High School and The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, practiced law at Carlile Patchen & Murphy; Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, LLP; and some 20 years ago, joined the bankruptcy workout department at Chase (Banc One). Joe was proud to be a lawyer and loved his work. Before moving to the Chase Polaris location, he enjoyed being a part of the downtown business scene. Memories of Thursday lunches at Ho-Toy restaurant always brought a smile to his face. Joe had great memories of the "go-go" `80s in Columbus and was a 20-year resident of the Short North, where he bought his first house and lovingly restored it. But more importantly, the Short North was where Joe met his wife, Thelma Gilliand Giampapa, who was living just a few doors down. They met and married in a few short months and lived happily ever after for 16 wonderful years. The best thing that ever happened to Thelma was meeting Joe; she adored and loved him beyond measure. Joe hung the moon in the sky for her. They lived in love every day. His loss is devastating and leaves a void that can't be filled. Joe, a man of superlative talents, was an avid cyclist who got stronger and stronger every year. Joe was passionate about long-distance cycling and Italian bicycles and loved the physical challenge of the sport, something he shared with a close group of cycling friends he considered brothers. They rode hard and climbed every hill they could find. The Columbus cycling community has truly lost another of its best. Thelma and Joe also shared a passion for cycling, often riding their tandem bicycle to Yellow Springs, Ohio, to enjoy lunch at the Winds Cafe. In broader travels, Joe rode many of the famous Tour de France mountain stages, and in one day climbed all three ascents of Mont Ventoux in the Provence region of southern France. He also climbed the Stelvio Pass in the Eastern Alps of Italy, and, with Thelma, climbed Alpe d'Huez in the Central French Alps. Joe was also a very accomplished windsurfer and with a group of friends travelled annually to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to enjoy the sport. He always said a bad day of windsurfing was better than a good day of doing anything else. Joe lived life to the fullest; he did more in one day than most people did in three. He was a brilliant man, a passionate and romantic lover and a cyclist to the end. Joe is survived by his loving wife, Thelma; sisters-in-law, his brothers-in-law, and his loving cousins. Please, no flowers. Rather, consider making a small donation to one of Joe's favorite charities: Friends of Goodale Park at http://goodalepark.org, or Consider Biking at http://www.considerbiking.org. A reflective gathering for family and friends in memory of Joe's life and all that he meant to us will take place Friday, March 28 at High Line Car House at 550 S. High Street, Columbus, Ohio. Guests will be welcomed at 6 p.m. with a remembrance commemoration beginning promptly at 7 p.m.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Mar. 26 to Mar. 27, 2014