Mourners say goodbye to slain Phoenix traffic-camera operatorby The Arizona Republic on Apr. 27, 2009, under Local, Special
About 150 friends and family gathered in Scottsdale on Saturday to say goodbye to the man killed while operating a photo-radar van.
During the hourlong ceremony at Highlands Church, loved ones talked about 51-year-old Douglas Georgianni’s kindness and good character.
“Doug had a passion and an enthusiasm for whatever it was he was involved with,” longtime friend Ron Jacobsen said.
Georgianni was shot one week ago today while working in a photo-enforcement van on Loop 101. Police arrested Thomas Destories, 68, on Monday on suspicion of murder.
Destories, who later apologized and said he didn’t mean to hurt anyone, was charged with first-degree murder.
At the memorial Saturday, a table adorned with memorabilia such as a wine bottle and a book about Italy stood next to a set of golf clubs.
Those who knew Georgianni spoke of his outgoing personality, hobbies and love for his family.
A former pro golfer, Georgianni was the first coach of the women’s golf program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
He led the team to a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and was coach of the year in 1998, according to the school’s Web site.
Georgianni was born in Syracuse, N.Y., but moved to the Phoenix area with his family. He graduated from Chaparral High School, and attended Arizona State University, graduating with a degree in business.
Jacobsen, a friend of 35 years, described Georgianni as a passionate person who was proud of his 30-year golf career.
Jeffry Georgianni said his older brother was playful but also had a strong sense of right and wrong. He also talked about Georgianni’s love for his wife, Jean.
“Doug was always a happy person but loving and marrying Jean sent him over the moon,” Jeffry said.
The couple married about three years ago.
Brandi Hull, Jean’s daughter, read a written statement on her mother’s behalf.
“It always amazed me that after being single for 25 years, he could be such a good husband,” she said. “No woman could have asked for a better husband.”