Home / News / Former Park Ridge city councilman Richard DiPietro, known as the ‘voice of reason,’ dies – Chicago Tribune

Former Park Ridge city councilman Richard DiPietro, known as the ‘voice of reason,’ dies – Chicago Tribune


Richard DiPietro, a longtime Park Ridge city councilman who served five terms on the City Council, helped annex an unincorporated area into the city, and was known as a level-headed thinker and consummate parliamentarian, died March 2. He was 80 years old.

DiPietro began his 18-year term on the Park Ridge City Council in 1995 and won five elections before retiring in 2013. He weathered a reduction in the City Council in 2007 when the number of city council members dropped from 14 to seven.

“It hurts,” Park Ridge Clerk Sal Raspanti said. “This was a person who loved all things Park Ridge (and) was a devoted family man.”

DiPietro died of multiple myeloma at his home at The Sheridan in Park Ridge, according to his second great-grandson, Chris McCarthy. DiPietro’s obituary asked guests to donate dementia And cancer research groups instead of flowers. McCarthy said her grandfather had dementia but managed it well in the last two years of his life.

Raspanti served on the council alongside DiPietro from 2011 to 2013. “Everyone who served with him saw him as a member of the council. “He kept everyone under control,” he said.

Raspanti said DiPietro earned his reputation for his ability to address current issues in a calm manner. He recalled a time in 2011 when the City Council was struggling financially and had to make cuts to stay above water. “I remember Rich really helping me through this process.”

DiPietro had great pride and love for his wife, McCarthy said. “Even in his hardest moment and his most painful moment… he was still saying ‘I love you’ to his wife. And you can tell the guy is very sincere. “Park Ridge was very lucky to have him, we were very lucky to have him, and so was the entire city of Chicago.”

DiPietro also worked at St. Louis for 25 years, McCarthy said. He said he volunteers at the Benedict Nursing Home and reads the scriptures every Sunday. “It’s always ‘What can I do to give back?’ he would say. but never, ‘What am I going to get out of this?’” McCarthy said.

According to an obituary on the Ryan-Parke Funeral Home website, DiPietro opened his typesetting company, The TypeSmiths, Inc., in 1981. The company evolved into CrossTech Communications and was retired in 2013. DiPietro was a member of the International Society of Typographers and served in many capacities, including president in 1992.

In 1992, DiPietro became interested in city politics while he was part of the 305-home Park Ridge Manor Community Association. according to previous reports. The area just south of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital was in unincorporated Cook County and surrounded by the city of Park Ridge. There were periodic efforts to annex the Manor site to Park Ridge, and in 1992 a renewed effort backed by DiPietro won by about 20 votes.

In 2007, the Park Ridge city council debated whether the city council should keep 14 aldermen or reduce the number to seven. Raspanti said DiPietro was someone who could think clearly and get others to think about their decisions during the council’s heatedly debated meetings.

A visitation is planned for Saturday, March 9, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Ryan-Parke Funeral Home. This will be followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Paul of the Cross Church.

According to the Ryan-Parke website, DiPietro is survived by his wife, Kathleen; daughter Robin (Stephanie Sherman) DiPietro; daughter Beth (Andrew) McPherson and children Nathan (Maureen), Aaron (Cara), Zachary (Lauren), Chelsea (Andrew Kretschmar), Jacob (Kaitlyn) and Cassidy; son Tom (Katherine) DiPietro and children Justin (Lily Elderkin) and Kristen; daughter Tracy (Sean) McCarthy and children Chris (Shannon), Kaitlyn, Danielle and Samantha; daughter Amy Kawiecki and children Peter (Ellie), Paige and Caroline; daughter Megan (Michael) Steele and children Alex, Riley, Colin, Jackson and Anna; and son Ryan (Kathryn) DiPietro and their children Savannah, Tyler, Nicholas and Grace; 11 great grandchildren; his sister, Marie Marinelli; brother-in-law, Frank Fabianski; brother-in-law Edward Wenigman; many nieces and nephews as well as many extended family and friends.


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