Peter Corpstein, ’52, Enters Chapter Eternal

Brother Peter J. Corpstein, Beta Phi 1952, Significant Sig, Hall of Honor member, Arizona elected official and businessman, entered Chapter Eternal on Nov. 27, 2017. He was 87.

The funeral is scheduled for 12:30 p.m., December 6, 2017 at St. Patrick Catholic Community, 10815 N. 84th St., Scottsdale. A reception will follow at Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley.

Brother Corpstein’s grandfather came to Arizona in the 1870s and moved to the valley from Tombstone and founded Valley Lumber in 1898. He later became mayor of Phoenix.

His maternal grandfather, John Norton, settled in the valley in 1881 and oversaw the design and construction of much of the Arizona canal system and served as a Maricopa County supervisor.

Brother Corpstein was born on Feb. 20, 1930,  in Phoenix. He graduated from North High School in Phoenix and then attended the University of Arizona, where he pledged Beta Phi. At the chapter, he served as house manager and intramural manager.  He also was a member of the Rodeo and Traditions clubs.

His son, Peter Jr., grandson John MacDonnell, and cousin, the late John R. Norton, a Hall of Honor member and Significant Sig, were Beta Phis as well. His daughter, Joanne MacDonnell,  was a Sigma Chi Little Sister “It was a great learning experience,” he recalled. “The fellowship is priceless. It gave me great pride to become a member of Sigma Chi.”

After graduation, Brother Corpstein entered the U.S. Army, where he was commissioned as a first lieutenant  He was discharged in May 1957 and returned home to work in the family business, Valley Lumber, Feed & Seed Co. He married Alice P. Daly, in March 1961.

In 1973 he was elected to the state House of Representatives, where he served for 10 years and then elected to the state Senate for eight years.  He was proud of his flawless voting record by not missing a final bill vote until his 15th year when the legislative session ran long and he refused to miss his son's graduation from the UA.

He also was proud of receiving the Air Conservationist of the Year award from the Wildlife Federation in 1987 for passing legislation to improve the Valley's air quality. He was passionate about criminal sanctions against drug pushers, protecting taxpayers from imprudent government expenditures, freeway improvements, fiscally sound retirement systems, and measures to prevent groundwater contamination and air pollution.

Brother Corpstein also served four years as Maricopa County assessor. In 1989 Pete was elected vice chairman of the Western Legislative Conference, consisting of all 13 western states and three U.S. territories. He also was elected chairman of the National Transportation Task Force on Urban Mobility Transportation and the board of directors of the Arizona Highway Users Federation.

He was a member of the St. Luke's Medical Center "Luke's Men" (founding president), Young Presidents Organization, Arizona State University Sun Angel Foundation (honorary lifetime director), Trunk 'N Tusk Committee, Early Birds, Valley Field and Riding Club and Phoenix Country Club.

Pete is survived by wife, Alice; daughter, Joanne; son Peter; and three grandchildren.  

All Honor to His Name.