It is with profound sorrow the Fraternity must report the passing of one of its most esteemed and dedicated brothers, Dr. Ferd Del Pizzo, Washington in St. Louis ’58. Ferd’s commitment to Beta Theta Pi and its ideals was unwavering, his spirit infectious, and his impact immeasurable. He died in his St. Louis home on November 10 with his family by his side.
Ferd’s Beta journey began upon his initiation into the Alpha Iota Chapter on February 13, 1955, marking the beginning of a lifetime of service that spanned nearly seven decades. His roles ranged from recruitment chairman to chapter and IFC president during his undergraduate years, while he held various other volunteer positions as a loyal alumnus, including house corporation president, new member education advisor, chapter counselor and more than 50 years with the St. Louis Beta Alumni Club.
At the General Fraternity level, Ferd served as district chief, regional director, member of the Board of Trustees and nearly 40 years as a valued member of the Advisory Council. His dedication earned him the 15th Francis W. Shepardson Award in 2007 and additional roll numbers at Beta’s chapters at Missouri-Kansas City and Saint Louis. His passion was always talking with undergraduates about recruitment, and he was never short-winded with anyone when it came to discussing his favorite topic: Beta Theta Pi.
Of course, Ferd’s presence was perhaps most felt at the annual General Convention, which he attended 45 consecutive years from 1970 to 2014. Standing on stage during his penultimate Convention Countdown, he offered to the crowd: “I don’t come to Convention every year to win some attendance prize. I come because that’s what Betas are supposed to do.”
Ferd’s Beta Spirit extended to his family, with his son, Matt, initiated into the Zeta Phi Chapter at Missouri in 1990, and his brothers, former General Secretary Vince Del Pizzo, Missouri ’62, and Wilson Del Pizzo, Missouri ’65, also proud members. His beloved Beta Sweetheart, Linda, was an integral part of his fraternal journey, always by his side sharing in the songs, traditions and values that define our brotherhood.
His devotion to the Fraternity was matched only by his dedication to his profession. A respected gynecologist and obstetrician, he brought over 5,000 newborns into the world.
A memorial service will be held in Ferd’s honor at a later date. In lieu of flowers, his family asks that contributions be made to the Beta Theta Pi Foundation.
While Betas everywhere mourn this loss, they also celebrate a life richly lived in the service of others and that thoroughly embodied the true spirit of Beta Theta Pi. He leaves behind a great legacy that will continue to inspire generations of Betas.
May Brother Ferd Del Pizzo, No. 874 on the official roll of the Alpha Iota Chapter of Beta Theta Pi, rest in peace. Forever in ___kai___.