A tribute to Alfred J. Cipolloni
by Mark Cipolloni

July 13, 2007

Go to our forums to discuss this article

Alfred J. Cipolloni

I want to thank everyone for coming here today to be with us as we say our last goodbyes to the man we all loved.

Alfred was known by many names - to some he was Al, to others Alfred. To some he was uncle or unc, cousin, or brother. Still to others he was father, dad and grand pop. To our mother he was hon, Alf, 'your father', or My Alfie.

To all, he was a FRIEND, a BUDDY, …….and most of all to everyone he was loved.

A lot of tears have been shed these past few days for this respectful, strong and reserved GENTLE – MAN, but let’s put aside those tears for a moment and reflect on the happy times, and the example he set for all of us.

In fact, I believe one of the true measures of a gentleman is how he treats others. For Dad, or Al, it was ALWAYS with a smile, and probably also with a hug or a handshake.

Even while he was dying in the hospital in his last days, his body ravished by the terrible disease of cancer, barely able to lift his head, he always reached out and embraced your hand with his and said, “How ya doing" Joe, Brian, Steve, or whatever your name was, and he did it with a SMILE, happy that he was able to see those so dear to him one last time.

And if it wasn’t with a smile he cried, he cried maybe because he was scared, but more likely because he loved each and every one of you and he didn’t want to leave all his friends behind. He loved life and all those around him.

And the measure of a man's love for his fellow man is reflected in how they treat others. For Dad he never refused a request for help. In fact many times he would offer it before you could ask. Dad was never too tired to lend a helping hand to those in need.

And what a pleasant man he was. I think only twice in my 51 years did I ever see my father angry, and I don’t think I ever heard of anyone who did not like him. What was there not to like about this man who came from simple means. He may not have had a college education, nor was he rich with money, but he built a legacy rich with dignity, respect and love.

Speaking of dignity and respect - I bet if you look up those two words in the dictionary, you'd see his picture next to both definitions. Dignity - Respect - Alfred.

And it was with these characteristics that Dad treated everyone, whether you were family, a lifelong acquaintance, or a total stranger off the street.

Dad was a QUIETLY PROUD man. He had an inner strength that carried him through life’s most difficult challenges. He was proud of his heritage and he never boasted about himself, but when he would talk about the five people he most cherished - his wife, his two children and his two grandchildren Steven and Kristen, there was always that sparkle in his steel blue eyes, and perhaps even a giddy smile.

To many Dad was a buddy. A fishing buddy. A hunting buddy. A racing buddy. A drinking buddy. No not alcohol, but everyday he had to “go for coffee” with his brothers and his friends. It was like a ritual. Why? Because he cherished their companionship, their love, and their camaraderie.

And it was the simple things in life that gave him much pleasure. His father Vincent, loved to grow things in his garden and so did Dad. After a hard day's work in the warm months, where could you find Dad? Probably in his garden tending to his lettuce, tomatoes, and even his fig tree.

Anyone who knew Dad, knew he loved to tell stories. And we all probably heard them more than once. Whether it was stories from his childhood, or when he served in the army, fishing stories, hunting stories, or racing stories. He had many. Most of the time they made you laugh, or in the case of my brother and I, perhaps it was to deliver a lesson in life, in growing up to be men.

Alfred has done much in his lifetime to be proud of - but there's one thing he did which I believe meant more to him than any of his other achievements - and that is the 57 years he was married to Mom.

Anyone who knows Filomena, Phil to most, knows she could be demanding in her own loving way. And my brother and I were not exactly angels by any means. But he never complained and always worked hard to keep us on the straight and narrow and together as a family. Of course I wasn’t there to witness it, but he always talked fondly about “the day I met your mother.”

There are many pictures that chronicle the life of Alfred, some of which you may have seen last night at the viewing. Two in particular caught my eye the other day – one of my son Steven, and one with my daughter Kristen, his grandchildren, both taken when they were young.

Oh how he loved his grandchildren. And what struck me most about those two pictures? That they were both smiling from ear-to-ear and so was he. And that is how Alfred would want us all to remember him. Smiling. With dignity. With respect.

I guess Mom always said it best. I may not have married the richest man in the world, but your Father is a great Husband and Dad, and I wouldn’t trade him for all the money in the world.

Amen Mom. Amen.

Watch Video Tribute (Will open in Windows Media Player - recommend that you have a high-speed connection to download file 166 MB.  If it begins to break up while playing hit pause to give the download buffer a chance to catch up.)

Photo Page

The author can be contacted at markc@autoracing1.com

Go to our forums to discuss this article


Other Editorials

Champ Car's Minardi 2-seater is the ultimate ride

For Alex Figge and PCM it's baptism by fire

A tribute to Alfred J. Cipolloni

Champ Car owners move to silence critics

Establishing a firm foundation for Champ Car

One-on-one with Champ Car President Steve Johnson

J.R. Hildebrand is one American going places in a hurry

What's new for Champ Car for 2007 - Part 1

Champ Car positions itself for international expansion

Paul Stoddart confirms interest in Champ Car

An inside look at Champ Car TV production

Ho-Pin Tung wants to be Champ Car's first Chinese driver

Stephen King explains Justin Wilson's novel Investor's Club

One-on-one with American sensation AJ Allmendinger

Champ Car moving forward without the IRL

One-on-one with Paul Tracy

Bruce Delahorne explains CDW's sponsorship in Champ Car

One-on-one with Justin Wilson

Champ Car bosses won't be bullied

Part 2: NASCAR/ISC get dirty in Phoenix, out to destroy Open Wheel

Part 1: NASCAR/ISC get dirty in Phoenix, out to destroy Open Wheel

The Rahals: Like father, like son

Why and IRL/Champ Car merger will be a big boost for the sport

Headless Open Wheel Racing appears doomed

Richard Lyons looking at Champ Car for his next challenge

We salute the champions of 2005

Is Jay Howard the next Ayrton Senna?

Interview with Grand-Am President Roger Edmondson

Otaru, Japan Champ Car race moving closer to reality

Champ Car's global appeal may ride on mimicking the Team Australia concept

Champ Car's Surfers Paradise race promoter "gets it"

Champ Car cements another brick in its foundation

Custom built Champ Cars and Indy Cars

Interview with RuSPORT Team President Jeremy Dale

Conspiracy Theory: What Indy was really all about

Why the Champ Car/IRL war must end

How a Champ Car and IRL merger might work

Will the battle for Long Beach destroy its Grand Prix?

Katherine Legge has her eyes set on Champ Car

Traveling Light Media - Just what the doctor ordered

Champ Car lays out bold 3-year plan

Champ Car's 2005 driver lineup vastly improved

Hunter-Reay anxious to get racing again with new team

That sucking sound you hear is NASCAR

Feud - The story of the murder of Mickey Thompson

Yes, Blame Tony and the CART defectors too

Interview with ALMS President Scott Atherton

2005 a foundation laying year for Champ Car

Kalkhoven talks Champ Car with AutoRacing1

Kalkhoven and Forsythe buy Cosworth from Ford

Carl Russo is bullish on Champ Car

Can this be Champ Car's next-generation car

Champ Car poised for major comeback

Champ Car Race Control - the 'Hot Seat Zone'

Open Wheel Racing is in serious need of consolidation

Champ Car South of the Border, An interview with Joe Heitzler

There is an easy way for Champ Car and the IRL to unify

From airport to race track, a race within a race

The 2-seater Car is one of Champ Car's biggest assets

Why Bernie Ecclestone could, and should, buy Champ Car now

Champ Car rocks the streets of Times Square in Manhattan

Why did Fernández leave Champ Car?  Follow the money....

Next Generation Champ Car: A call for F1 tires

Coming to America?  Interview with Ralph Firman Jr.

Open Wheel Racing defeats IRL - Champ Car Series to continue

Open Wheel Racing needs a win by OWRS - Part 2

The next generation Champ Cars - Part 2

Is CART next for Villeneuve?

New deal for CART may be better than first thought

The genius of one Bernard Ecclestone

CART Champ Cars, the next generation - Part 1

Details emerging on CART race in Seoul, South Korea

CART hits a Grand Slam in Mexico City.  Now What?

Top-10 Challenges facing new CART owners

CART can still race in Europe, but will they?

For CART, time is of the essence

Making sense of CART's situation

Push-to-Pass means no more parades for CART

An interview with CART's David Clare

What did Roger Penske really mean?

CART must differentiate itself - clearly

Why turbos make for superior street and race engines

For CART, it's now or never

Chicken or the Egg?

War of the worlds

What Bernie brings to CART

CART, Driven to where?

Is it really about CART vs. IRL?

If I were Bernie

The Champ Cars and St. Pete

An informal survey of the St. Pete race attendees

Artificial Dissemination

CART, F1 coming to grips with doing business in China

Cancel the Funeral

Why CART and F1 must, and will, share a common V-10 engine

Book Review: Autocourse 2002-2003 F1 yearbook

Does CART need Michael Andretti?

2002 CART TV ratings by the numbers

Now is the time for CART to redefine its ladder system

CART gets a taste of tifosi passion in Mexico

Love affair in Mexico

Making sense out of Bernie/CART rumors

Changing of the guard?

Mom, apple pie, CART and....Formula1?

Why CART and Bernie make perfect dance partners

Miami should be a CART and ALMS kickoff party

David slays Goliath in Miami

What to make of Gurney's F1 team

Taking it to the streets, why Miami is a war zone

CART, like the Phoenix, about to rise up from the ashes

There's more than handwriting on the wall.....and here's the concrete facts

Labor Day weekend 1952...A weekend I'll never forget

Team owners show support for CART

CART still may be in cards for Villeneuve

Bryan Herta, USA's next best chance for F1

Is Paul Ricard in CART's future?

CART's real attendance numbers

Is Brands Hatch suitable for Champ Cars?

An Unappealing Appeal, George reigns in GEORGE-town

A candid conversation with Chris Pook

More than meets the eye with CART's turbo move

It's time for CART to define its own future

Key upgrades at Road America

Back-Breaking work

The rebirth of CART

The hidden costs of Indy Car racing

CART's road and street circuits are clicking with the fans

Is it sport, or a P.T. Barnum show?

IRL at Fontana - a victim of friendly fire

CART's 2003 race venues #1 in the world

Meet the Gonzalez brothers

ISC is making enemies in Miami

Copyright 1999-2014  AutoRacing1 is an independent internet online publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by the IRL., NASCAR, FIA,  Sprint, or any other series sponsor. This material may not be published, broadcast, or redistributed without permission.