Local businessman Angelo Ropollo died Monday (July 2) at
Grace Home in Shreveport, just three days after celebrating his 92nd
Funeral services for Ropollo will be at 10 a.m. Friday at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, 947 Jordan St., Shreveport. The funeral mass will be celebrated by Monsignors Carson LaCaze and Earl Provenza, and the Rev. Charles Glorioso.
Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Thursday at Rose Neath Funeral Home on Marshall Street.
Roppolo is survived by his wife, Jackie, daughter, Joan Ropollo Morehead, son, Ricky Ropollo, stepson Steve Davis and wife Joanna, step daughter Connie Vandervanter and husband Wayne; grandchildren Ashley Brint and husband Wes, Catherine Ropollo and Christopher Ropollo; and great grand children Garret and Gavin Brint; brothers, Nick Ropollo and Carl Ropollo Jr.; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of friends and fans.
A true renaissance man, Ropollo, was as comfortable and respectful talking to society's most troubled outcasts - which he often came across in his bail bonds business - as he was talking to a U.S. Supreme Court justice, U.S presidents, vice presidents or Louisiana governors, with whom he also had occasion to come in contact.
For decades, would-be politicians, elected officials, judges, lawyers and plain everyday people who happened to be walking by, broke bread with Ropollo at an every-Friday barbecue at his bail-bonds business, located just a block away from the Caddo Parish Courthouse.
Both pragmatic and
visionary, Ropollo embraced the idea of civil rights long before many of his
contemporaries, and was instrumental in the election of Caddo Parish's first
The walls of his office are still covered with political memorabilia - yard signs, bumper stickers, photographs of the famous and infamous who stopped by to receive Angelo's blessing. .
Roppolo always downplayed his influence, and with some of his cronies jokingly founded a firm called "Incompetent Consultants," complete with business cards, which he gave to unsuspecting people...including reporters.
After he was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer and subsequently was admitted to Grace Home, the hospice became a satellite location for his office of many years. Local friends stopped in to see him as always, but so did his out of town buddies.
Though only at Grace Home a few weeks, former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards stopped by, as did former Gov. Kathleen Blanco.
Also stopping by
was Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and newly-elected state Sen. Barrow Peacock. From the
national front, U.S. Rep. John Fleming stopped by to pay his respects, not to
mention a plethora of past and present local elected officials, judges and
people who Angelo had helped along the way.
And there were resolutions honoring his contributions and accomplishments from the Louisiana House and Senate, the U.S. House and Senate, and the Shreveport City Council, read out loud to him in his room at Grace Home, but hard to hear over all the conversation going on.
Earlier this year, Ropollo learned he had been selected to be in the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, his induction wasn't to take place until Feb. 2, 2013, so now it will be awarded to his family posthumously.
This reporter will particularly miss calling Ropollo and asking about a particular suspect in a crime, or a defendant about to go on trial and hearing, time and time again, "Baby, he/she was a good boy/girl - just got a little off the track..."; or, if there was absolutely no redeeming quality he could find in the person, he'd tell me, "Now go easy on him, he's got a sweet mama and it's not her fault."
There will be much written and spoken about Angelo Ropollo. There will be many accolades, and they'll all be true. The guy was amazing, right up to the end. But if I were to sum up Angelo Ropollo's legacy, what I will remember him for most is that he always gave people chances.
Second and third and fourth chances.
He'll be right at home in heaven.