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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news October 06, 2015

7/30/2013 6:02:00 AM
Prescott Valley icon Ed Lepordo dies at 60
Stew Schrauger, Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce/Courtesy photo
Ed Lepordo accepts a Chamber Volunteer Award Friday night from Prescott Valley Chamber outgoing Board President Irene Evans. Lepordo was instrumental for many years in running the Chamberís annual fundraiser golf tournament. He died Sunday while golfing.
Stew Schrauger, Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce/Courtesy photo
Ed Lepordo accepts a Chamber Volunteer Award Friday night from Prescott Valley Chamber outgoing Board President Irene Evans. Lepordo was instrumental for many years in running the Chamberís annual fundraiser golf tournament. He died Sunday while golfing.

Longtime Prescott Valley supporter Ed Lepordo passed away Sunday doing what he loved - playing golf.

Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce Board president from 1996 through 1997 after two years as vice president, Lepordo was an owner of McWhite's North American Van Lines and the Arizona Sundogs professional hockey team. He was 60. His wife, Donna, survives him.

"It's a sad day for Prescott Valley," former Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce director Lew Rees said. "Eddie was a great, great friend, great leader and all-around good guy."

Rees said after Lepordo hired him, one of his first directives was to raise $50,000 to build the Prescott Valley Pavilion at Mountain Valley Park. But Lepordo, as part of the "Action Chamber," a business owner and a private citizen, helped spark a tremendous increase in Chamber membership and was instrumental in many innovative town and community bonding projects. Some of those included: the SlugFest softball tourney between Chamber, Town and Humboldt School District staff teams; and several annual events, such as the Chamber's Pronghorn Golf Tournament; Burning Desire to Feed the Hungry holiday food drive; Team Up to Clean Up; Christmas Festival of Lights; Prescott Valley Days; a successful Trade Show.

In a Tribune article by Heidi Dahms (now Foster) dated July 23, 1997, Lepordo said, "We took on the policy when we hired the new director (Rees) last year that we would just say yes - to the community, to the Town, to the schools and civic clubs. We want to assist and partner with anyone who needs help."

"He always was doing what it takes to build a community. He made a huge difference with his philosophies and here we sit with a beautiful town," Rees said.

Marnie Uhl, current Chamber president/CEO said Lepordo was "instrumental in leading the chamber in a new positive direction."

Chamber executive assistant Bev Oleson said her husband, Doug, met Lepordo at a networking meeting 21 years ago when both couples were new to Prescott Valley, and the men golfed together twice weekly since.

"They just hit it off," Bev Oleson said. "We had a lot of fun and laughs together."

Lepordo became a Sundogs owner with Mile High Hockey, LLC, in September 2010, and also served as interim president from January through July 2011.

In a press release from the organization, Sundogs majority owner Brad Fain said, "This is truly a loss for the organization and the community.  His passing comes as a shock to all of us and we are still trying to come to grips with the loss. Our hearts and prayers are with his wife, Donna, and their family.  Ed will be greatly missed throughout the organization; I will personally miss his support, leadership and friendship in our efforts to rebuild the team and the organization.  He was truly a one-of-a-kind friend and will be greatly missed."

For the past seven years, Lepordo also has sponsored Toys for Kids, allowing 40 children to tour the arena, meet the Sundogs, and receive team merchandise along with a teddy bear for the girls and a McWhite's replica moving truck for the boys. With his bushy salt-and-pepper beard, Lepordo resembled a younger version of Santa Claus.

Born in Boston, Mass., Lepordo eared a business degree from California State University at Fullerton. He rode rodeos in Europe and North America and was slated for induction into the European Rodeo Association's Hall of Fame later this year.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: Art Askew

My condolences to Ed's family and friends. Ed was a generous and caring person who did a lot for the town of Prescott Valley and it's citizens. He will be missed.

Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Article comment by: Steven Secor

Ed was truly one of the best people I ever had the pleasure to know. You will be missed and Donna I am so sorry for your loss.

Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Article comment by: Thank You

We will miss you Eddie. Thank you for all you have done for our community and for trying to keep the Sundogs going.

Oour prayers to the his family.

Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Article comment by: Michael Picard

Ed was a pillar in the community, an extremely kind man who loved helping others. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Prayers for his family!

Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Article comment by: Kat Marie

My Daughter and I would like to offer our condolences to Donna and to Jerry and the crew at McWhites North American! A great Husband, Friend, and Boss has been lost! Ed was a great Leader for the Prescott Vally Community! He accomplished a lot over the years! His shoes will be hard to fill! It just won't be the same at the SunDog Hockey Games! He was a huge presence with the team and the community! You will be missed Ed !!!

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