Memorial services were held today at St. Augustine Cathedral, 192 S. Stone Avenue in memory of former Arizona Board of Regents member Arthur Albert Chapa, who passed away on November 19, at age 69, from H. pylori-induced cancer.
Chapa was well known in Democratic political circles, “raising money for Democratic candidates, serving as a staffer for Congressman Morris K. Udall (1978-81), and serving on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ transition team in 2006. He was the state director of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election bid.” (from Az Daily Star article on November 23).
He served on the Arizona Board of Regents for 8 years (1990 to 1998), according to his friend former Gubernatorial candidate Eddie Basha, who spoke today at his service. Both Basha and another friend former State Senator George Cunningham referred to Chapa as their “brother/hermano”. He graduated from George Washington University Law School, and also worked as a lobbyist for Pima County.
Basha said that Chapa “spoke against discrimination” and worked towards increasing in-state minority enrollment at ASU’s Law School, and wanted the best “quality of life experience for all the students.”
Bishop Gerald Kicanas (who officiated today) spoke of Chapa as a man whose “life was well lived, given in service to others”. He said that “some make a difference” in life and that Chapa was one of those who did, as he “wanted the best for his community, because he always wanted more not less” for Tucson.
Art Chapa is survived by his wife Lynette, three children, three grandchildren.
Numerous politicians, City and County officials were present today at this memorial service, including all five Pima County Supervisors (Ramon Valadez, Sharon Bronson, Ray Carroll, Richard Elias, Ann Day), County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry, UA President Robert Shelton.
The Chapa family has established a fund in his name to increase awareness of H. pylori-induced cancer, and contributions can be sent to the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, 1295 N. Martin Ave., Tucson, 85724. Remembrances can be posted at www.MeM.com.