Anthony “Tony” Iacopi, who headed Tiburon’s Public Works Department for nearly 20 years, died Aug. 12 of acute lymphoid leukemia at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. He was 71.
Mr. Iacopi started with Tiburon Public Works in 1989 as the assistant superintendent. After his boss, Louis Brunini, retired, he was named superintendent. He retired in 2007.
A licensed contractor and master welder, he oversaw all town infrastructure projects and was responsible for keeping the town’s parks looking their best and keeping the town’s drainage culverts clear during storms.
“Tony was a big man with a big heart,” said retired Tiburon Town Manager Peggy Curran, whose tenure overlapped his by a year. “He really cared about the town, he was a hard worker, he was a passionate guy and he was widely appreciated for his contributions to the town over many years. He’ll be thought of very fondly and missed.”
Before joining the town, Mr. Iacopi worked as the Reed Union School District’s director of maintenance and operations throughout the late 1980s.
Mr. Iacopi had been living with multiple myeloma for many years but had managed it successfully. He was diagnosed with leukemia only recently.
Born Feb. 7, 1948, in San Francisco to Anthony “Bruno” Iacopi and Angelina “Angie” Vacca Iacopi, Mr. Iacopi was the grandson of Rodolfo Iacopi, founder of the famous North Beach butcher stop R. Iacopi & Sons, which remained a San Francisco institution until the family sold the business in 1995.
The younger Mr. Iacopi lived in San Francisco’s Marina district until he was 6, when his family moved to San Anselmo. His early memories include accompanying his father on meat deliveries to Mantegani’s Corner Market in downtown Tiburon.
Mr. Iacopi spent almost all his weekends at his grandfather’s cattle ranch, the Cascade Ranch in Pescadero, which had a contract with the Presidio of San Francisco military base during World War II to supply beef. He learned to ride, rope and cut cattle, and his time there instilled in him a love of rodeo. His grandfather gave him his first calf to raise.
“Like many kids in the 1950s, he watched all those Westerns on TV, and he was inspired by that,” said his wife, retired Tiburon Town Clerk Diane Crane Iacopi of Rio Vista, where the two bought a home a few years ago.
In San Anselmo, he attended Brookside School, played Little League baseball and graduated from Sir Francis Drake High School.
Mr. Iacopi grew up in the era celebrated in the film “American Graffiti,” cruising in cars with other teens up and down Fourth Street in San Rafael and drag racing on what is now the Highway 580 connector to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
Playing as one of the stars of a winning football team won him a scholarship to the University of Southern California, where he played for about two years.
After college, he went out on the rodeo circuit, competing in steer wrestling and team roping events. He continued to compete in rodeo until about 1996, winning many belt buckles — the trophy of the rodeo world — as a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
For many years during his first marriage, he lived in the state’s Central Valley. After his divorce, he moved into a home in Tiburon’s Belveron neighborhood and remained there until 1999.
After retirement, he went to work as a welder and welding salesman for Praxair Corp. in San Francisco, Airgas in San Rafael and North Bay Gas in Novato. He retired from that career in 2018. Many years ago, as a welder, he worked on the construction of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco and, for Textron, on the Apollo-Soyuz capsule.
He met Diane Crane while both were working for the town of Tiburon; they were married in September 1999.
“He always impressed me because he was so polite and would pull my chair out at staff meetings,” she said.
Crane Iacopi retired from the town in 2016.
She described him as a father figure to many of the kids they knew.
“He was a strong, kind man that kids looked up to,” she said.
In his free time, he loved working in his garage wood shop, where in recent years he had begun hand crafting custom saddle stands. He enjoyed motor boating on the region’s lakes and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
In addition to Crane Iacopi, Mr. Iacopi is survived by daughters Pam Bund of Missouri City, Texas; Danielle Iacopi of Georgetown, Calif.; brother David Iacopi of Maui, Hawaii; and cousins Louis Iacopi of Half Moon Bay and Norma Maraviglia of South San Francisco. His brother, Eddie Iacopi, predeceased him.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.