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Category Archives: Passings

Representative Ben Miranda, 1949-2013

It has been a hard week for the Mexican-American community in Phoenix and Arizona, as two irreplaceable leaders have been lost in the space of a few days. First, journalist and arts booster Ruben Hernandez passed away over Veteran’s Day weekend. Now, word comes that Former Representative Ben Miranda passed away on Friday morning. We […]

Manuel “Lito” Peña

Iconic state Senator Manuel “Lito” Peña, who served in the legislature from 1967 to 1997 passed away today at 88. I did not have the opportunity to serve with Peña, though his young protege, Representative John Loredo, was the Democratic Leader during my first term. I knew him mostly by reputation. A press release from […]

Dr. Henry “Hank” Oyama, 1926-2013

Dr. Henry “Hank” Oyama passed away on Tuesday. The last time I saw Hank Oyama was about 2 years ago. I ran into him at an event Downtown and he asked me to walk him back to his car. It quickly became obvious that he really needed no particular help, but that he just wanted […]

Bill Konopnicki

Editor’s note: Yes, the blog is still dark for the time being, but my brother wanted to write a tribute to his friend and colleague (and according to Polish clan rules, shield brother), Bill Konopnicki Last week came the sad news of the passing of my former colleague, Bill Konopnicki, Republican of Safford. He was […]

Sam Steiger

[It is] an irrefutable fact of life that the elected official is regarded by those who elect him as capable of the most flagrant dishonor. – Rep. Sam Steiger Sam Steiger died this week. Steiger served in Congress from 1967-1977, and also did time in the legislature as well as a term as Prescott mayor […]

Larry Toledo

I heard this morning about the death of Larry Toledo. Toledo’s most tangible contribution to our community came when he was part of the group that helped start Pima Community College back in 1970. He eventually became athletic director and served in that position until his retirement in 1997. After that, he worked with his […]

Lorenzo Torres

I recieved an e-mail today informing me of the passing of Lorenzo Torres. Torres made several runs for office, beginning with a tilt at a South Side senate seat in 1978 (he placed last out of four candidates). The following election, he made a run for US Senate against Barry Goldwater. He followed on with […]

Donna Wangler

Long time Democratic activist Donna Wangler passed away earlier this month. She wasn’t always the easiest to get along with, but her commitment to Democratic causes couldn’t ever be doubted. The Pima County Democratic Party came together to raise money for Donna’s final expenses. There will be a memorial service next Tuesday at St. Francis […]

Andy Rooney

CBS News reports that Andy Rooney has passed away. Most of us think of Rooney as the crotchity old man complaining about doorknobs and Kurt Cobain at the end of 60 Minutes, but he started his career as a reporter for Stars and Stripes during the Second World War. He spent his time with the […]

Judy Burns

Long time friend of local education Judy Burns has passed away. She was 63. Burns ran for the TUSD school board and lost. Then, she ran again. And again. And, yep, again. Finally, she was elected in 2000 on her fifth try. Even her detractors have to have admired the tenacity. Burns was in the […]