Leo Pizarro

Leonel Tristan Pizarro passed away peacefully on July 10, 2012 in Woodbridge, VA from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. Leo was born September 25, 1944 in Pueblo Hundido, Chile, to Carmen and Tristan Pizarro. He and his sister, Magda, grew up in a loving home and treasured their time riding on trains with their father Tristan, who was a railroad telephone engineer. Leo married Sue Anne Ipsen on May 20, 1972 in Clayton, CA. Leo graduated from the University of the Pacific in California where he played soccer, and later received an MBA from the Thunderbird School of International Management. He spent wonderful years with his family living overseas and working at remote construction sites as an administrator. He embraced the gypsy lifestyle, working all over Central and South America before joining the U.S. Agency for International Development. The rest of his career was spent stationed at US Embassies in Guatemala, Honduras, Egypt, El Salvador, Senegal, and Israel working on development projects with some of the neediest people in the world. People who worked for Leo loved him. He was a passionate, generous, and loving man. If there was a party, he was there, dancing up a storm and leading the charge. He adopted young single people into his family at every post, giving them a home, an advisor, and a beer. He always kept change in his pockets and car doors for anyone who asked for it, and would raid his house for items to give away. Those who knew him best enjoyed his colorful personality. His stubbornness challenged the most worthy opponents and he often bumped heads with his supervisors. He was happiest on an adventure whether it was deep sea fishing in the Red Sea, driving and branding cattle in the Mosquito Coast in Honduras, or motoring around the Sahara in a Land Cruiser in his endless search for pretty rocks to add to his several hundred pound collection. Leo’s proudest achievement was his family, and he let them all know it. He leaves behind his wife, Sue, who joined him on his adventures for so many years. He will be remembered by his four children: Fernando, Lisa, Sandra, and Nicole, and his first granddaughter, Alexis Manali. A very special mention must be made of Maria Fe Saavedra, an important member of the Pizarro family who dedicated herself to Leo’s care in his last years, giving comfort and love.
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