Albert Tripodi, 96, Patterson Heights, died Thursday, March 19, 2020, under the care of Good Samaritan Hospice at Beaver Meadows, Brighton Township.
Albert was a man with unwavering loyalty to his family, fierce dedication to his business, and a relentless commitment to making his community a better place for all.
He was born Nov. 3, 1923, in Beaver Falls to the late Louis and Serafina Agrisone Tripodi. He also was preceded in death by Delores "Dee" Ross Tripodi, his wife of 70 years in 2017, as well as his siblings Anthony Tripodi, Mary Gioffre, Adaline Gerace, Edith Campana, Josephine August, and Alice Shimrak and his infant great-grandson Jack Robinson Tripodi.
Al was a member of Beaver Falls High School Class of 1941, as was Dee. He asked her to the prom that year, but she turned him down, saying he was a better dancer than her. And he was. He and four high school buddies -- each wearing a red rose in their lapels -- would hit the local dance floors. When they arrived, the band leaders would announce "Ladies and gentlemen, 'The Five Roses' are in the house."
After graduation, Al attended Geneva College until the outbreak of World War II when he enlisted. He and Dee corresponded as friends during the war, but when he was discharged, the courtship began. "I was in uniform, walking down Seventh Avenue in Beaver Falls and I saw her across the street. I was acting cool and walked up to her. I wanted to see her left hand. There was no ring on it. The rest was history," he said.
Al was a proud veteran of World War II, serving with the U.S. Air Force. As a waist gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress, he flew 26 combat missions over Germany and Nazi occupied countries. His bomb group participated in the second daylight raid over Berlin and the bombing of Normandy beaches on D-Day. For his efforts, Al was awarded the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the European African Middle East Ribbon. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant.
His experiences in World War II positioned him for an extremely successful post-war career. Al was employed by the Babcock & Wilcox Tubular Division in Beaver Falls for 26 years. During that time, he set the foundation for what would become his passion and his legacy: Beaver Valley Federal Credit Union.
Beginning in 1955, while working fulltime for B&W, he and his wife devoted countless volunteer hours to grow the credit union. In the early days of the credit union, it was located in their home on College Hill. By 1967, the credit union moved from the Tripodi home into a new building on College Hill. At that time Al accepted the role of Manager/CEO, a full-time position he held until his retirement on Dec. 31, 2013 at the age of 90.
During his tenure with the credit union, he oversaw its growth from a vest pocket organization with just $84,000 in assets to a successful financial institution with assets exceeding $67 million by the time of his retirement. He also served numerous leadership positions in regional, state and national credit union associations. Al served as an advisor in start-ups of several local credit unions.
Al's experience with the credit union led to work with many community projects and organizations. He served nine years as chairman of the Beaver Falls Planning and Zoning Commission and was president and board member of the Beaver Valley Chamber of Commerce. He organized the Charter Study Commission for the City of Beaver Falls and spearheaded the completion of the Beaver Falls Comprehensive Plan and a Recreation Comprehensive Plan. Al also was a driving force for Falls Area In Town Housing (F.A.I.T.H.)
Al was proud of his work with the Beaver Falls Rotary Club, for which he served as president. He was awarded Rotary's Paul Harris Award for distinguished service. In 1970, he was named the Upper Beaver Valley Jaycees' "Man of the Year."
He enjoyed 25 years of family vacations at Ocean City, MD, and his 80 trips to Las Vegas with Dee. But what he enjoyed most was his family, and spoiling his grandchildren. Friends and family jokingly said that if there was reincarnation, they wanted to return as one of Al's grandchildren.
He was a lifetime member of St. Philomena Roman Catholic Church (now St. Monica Parish), Beaver Falls.
He leaves behind to honor his legacy his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren: son Jim and Janet Tripodi, Beaver, and their children Jeff and Caroline Tripodi, Chippewa Township, with Contessa and Roman, and Jamie and Eric McIntosh, Brighton Township, with Samantha and Lachlan; and daughter Pam and Mark Balbach, Chippewa Township, with their daughters Marcie and Mike Newell, Ohio Township, and Katie and Jay Walton, Wexford, with Cassie and Cruz, as well as many nieces and nephews.
We find it fitting that Al died on March 19, the Feast Day of St. Joseph, the model of fatherhood and the patron saint of a happy death.
Due to the current health concerns and CDC recommendations, the family choose to have a private Mass of Christian burial on Saturday in St. Monica Catholic Parish with Father Kim J. Schreck as celebrant. Interment followed in St. Mary Cemetery, Chippewa Township.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favorite charity or the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Al knew the power of prayer; pray the rosary daily.
The Hill & Kunselman Funeral Home, www.hillandkunselman.com., 3801 Fourth Avenue, College Hill, Beaver Falls, was in charge of arrangements.
You may make online condolences at the funeral home website, hillandkunselman.com.
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