On the August 13, 2013, the eighty-second anniversary of the arrival of Anthony J. Ipsaro into this world, many of us find ourselves continuing to mourn this wonderful man, who spoke into our lives in startling and surprising ways. One of his colleagues from the Agency wrote in a note to his widow, Barbara, when Anthony died, “I am saddened to hear of Anthony’s death and regret not catching up with him these last months. His wise counsel and energy are missed. His deep abiding faith in people, their capabilities and potential to leave an indelible mark. Our conversations of my work were the focus, but to illustrate balance, he often spoke of you and your family. This he did with great respect, admiration and love. He will be missed.”
Below is an obituary about Anthony, followed by some pictures and personal recollections of his influence on our lives.
Anthony J. Ipsaro
Anthony John Ipsaro, an internationally acclaimed educator, author, organizational consultant and psychological counselor, died yesterday with his wife and family at his side at his home in Baltimore, Maryland, after a long illness. He was 79.
During his career Dr. Ipsaro worked tirelessly with men, women, and minorities, helping them to address issues which they faced in their families, work and social relationships. His clients included corporate, professional and educational groups throughout North America, Africa, Asia and Europe focusing on cultural and gender distinctions. Dr. Ipsaro was revered for his seminars, which he presented to tens of thousands of business leaders over the years. He treated sensitive topics such as gender, leadership, and race relations in an understandable, respectful, entertaining and provocative manner. Dr. Ipsaro provided individual skills and organizational strategies that helped create greater productivity and success in rapidly changing businesses around the world.
Anthony Ipsaro was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 13, 1931. He was the second youngest of six children born to Antonino & Josephine Ipsaro, who were hard-working immigrants from St. Agata, Sicily, and Florence, Italy. Antonino Ipsaro was an orphan, when he moved to the US to live with an uncle. Although he never received a formal education, Antonio had plenty of “street smarts.” When the Ipsaro’s were first married, they bought one truck and started hauling goods around Cleveland. Soon they bought another truck, and another, building the foundation for Tony Ipsaro Trucking. The young Anthony claims that he learned his most important business lessons at the dinner table, where his father and mother held “nightly board meetings,” discussing the family trucking company.
Antonio also taught the children how to be frugal with their earnings, wise with their words as well as thoughtful and loving. Antonio never missed an opportunity to bring Josephine fresh flowers, including a long-stem rose. The family’s back yard rose garden blossomed from transplanted flowers he brought home to Josephine.
Anthony Ipsaro was a life-long learner. A graduate of Cathedral Latin High School in Cleveland and University of Dayton, Anthony earned a Master’s in Educational Administration from St. John’s University in New York City. Dr. Ipsaro received two doctorate degrees: a Ph.D. in Organization & Administration from the Catholic University of America and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver. He was also awarded two postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University (Organizational Behavior with the School of Education & the School of Medicine) and an internship at a Harvard affiliated hospital (Clinical Psychology at McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA).
A longtime educator, Dr. Ipsaro was an ordained Brother in the Society of Mary, a Catholic religious order, known as The Marianists, where he spent 36 years. He was a teacher at North Catholic High School in Pittsburgh from 1953 – 1954 and a teacher and later Assistant Principal at Chaminade High School on Long Island, New York from 1954 – 1962. He was appointed the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Baltimore from 1966 – 1968, after serving as the Principal of Cardinal Gibbons High School in Baltimore from 1964 – 1966. Dr. Ipsaro also served as Assistant Professor in the Graduate Studies of Education, University of Notre Dame, as special consultant for Innovative Programs at the University of Dayton, and as Teaching Affiliate in the School of Professional Psychology, University of Denver.
Dr. Ipsaro earned numerous honors and awards over the years including: University of Notre Dame – Man of the Year (Maryland UND alumni chapter); Junior Chamber of Commerce – Outstanding Young Man (Maryland); National Catholic Education Association – National Resource Person; and an Honorary Trustee of the University of Dayton. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the American Psychological Association, the Association of Advancement of Behavior Therapy, and the Colorado Psychological Association. He published many psychology related articles and contributed to innumerable periodicals over the years. Dr. Ipsaro left all of the books, essays and monographs from his extensive psychology reference library to the Penrose Library at the University of Denver.
Starting in 1985, Dr. Ipsaro practiced as an organizational and clinical psychologist in Denver, Colorado. He studied and consulted with private clients and organizations for over 40 years. In a recent letter to Dr. Ipsaro, one of his long-standing business executive clients keenly observed:
“There’s little doubt that without your counsel as a remarkably capable professional and as a friend, the tumultuous relationship that [my colleagues and I] shared, particularly in the early years, would’ve blown us apart. You shined a bright light into the corners of that relationship, compelling us to find better and more sustainable ways to carry on. I’ve observed over the years that the most powerful person in any dynamic, problem-solving setting is the one who poses the best questions. It was just that – the quality of your questions, the insights they propagated, and your unremitting demand that we answer them honestly and authentically, [that] made you such an indispensable guide to all of us.”
Dr. Ipsaro’s corporate clients included AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Lockheed-Martin, BP AMOCO, Motorola, Wells Fargo, Qwest (US West), and many other public and private enterprises. Dr. Ipsaro wrote the acclaimed book, “White Men, Women & Minorities in the Changing Work Force,” which he published in 1997 at the encouragement of his many business clients. Dr. Ipsaro also had a multi-year relationship with various US Federal Agencies, where he offered his unique organizational skills and understanding of men, women, and minorities to the betterment of US government employees in Washington, DC and around the world.
Dr. Ipsaro married Barbara LaPorte Bagli in 1993 and they lived for 18 years on Columbine Street in the Denver neighborhood of Cherry Creek. Anthony loved fresh flowers, and the house bloomed with the florists finest, a trait he learned from his father. The social highlights of their years together were the visits from Barbara’s children, their spouses, and grandchildren, who flocked to the Ipsaro’s Denver home to be with “MaMere and Bro.” Their family trips to the US National Parks, Boulder, Georgetown, Central City, Santa Fe, Leadville, Frisco and surrounding mountains offered the East Coasters hiking, fishing, and skiing trips of a lifetime. The Ipsaro’s introduced the grandchildren to Geneva Glen Camp (Indian Hills) and Cheley Colorado Camps (Estes Park), where they had life-altering summer experiences in the Rockies.
Dr. & Mrs. Ipsaro moved to Baltimore, Maryland, in 2011, after Dr. Ipsaro was diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Ipsaro’s wanted to be near family members, care givers and neurology specialists at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Ipsaro was predeceased by his parents, his sister, Paula Ipsaro Swirsky, and his brother, Charles Ipsaro. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, his brothers, Salvatore, Blaise and Vincent Ipsaro, and many nieces and nephews.
A viewing will be held at Mitchell Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21212.
A funeral and Catholic Eucharistic Mass, celebrating the life of Anthony Ipsaro, will be held at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21212.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests charitable contributions to: The University of Denver or The College of Notre Dame of Maryland.
Other images of Anthony J. Ipsaro
Anthony flew from Denver, Colorado to Baltimore, Maryland 5 times to work with Tracy Bagli and Henry Hooper to prepare themselves for a blessed marriage in the Catholic Church. Through a program which he devised, Anthony guided the young couple through discussions of family of origin, male and female traits, communications, conflict resolution, sex and sexuality, and finally spirituality. Anthony defied the stereotype of “the virgin sex counselor” by pointing out their misconceptions, and demonstrated the need for deeper help from God to secure the grace they need to support a strong and durable marriage. Having never forgotten his valuable lessons, the Hooper’s have become leaders in the “Sponsor Couple Program”, which helps engaged couples prepare for marriage. The Hooper’s ministry has expanded beyond Maryland to Portland, Oregon. Their many sponsored couples over the years are a testament to the power of Anthony Ipsaro’s lessons for engaged couples and working marriages.
Life Long Learning:
If Anthony could reinvent himself at age 48, then he is proof positive that it can be done. With his inspiration and trail blazing, many of the Bagli children and their spouses have gone back to school, changed careers, changed states of residence and started over. He is the perfect role model for avoiding the “stuck in a rut” phenomenon. Whenever he was faced with a challenge or counseling someone through a change, his motto was “Go for it!”
Go for the Gusto:
Anthony took his sons-in-law on a trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon in what has become legend. The trip was in the top 10 for Henry Hooper and on Anthony’s bucket list. Henry was a willing accomplice in getting Tom McNamara, John Nagle, and Tom Bagli to join in the fun following John Wesley Powell down the river. It was a fabulous journey to the Southwest. We needed to get away from cell phones, e-mails, and political firestorms that were scorching above the rim of the Canyon. May we do so again soon, as the same pressures and storms are on the horizon.
Thank you, Anthony, for your example of getting away and getting in touch at the same time. We miss you.