WARREN, Mich. (July 15, 2019) – When Gary DiGiuseppe died on an Arkansas highway in June, 2016, the victim of an early morning wrong-way driver, his family was devastated.
But his sister Carol DiGiuseppe-Zuniga and his parents Leonard and Virginia, are establishing a scholarship in his name to benefit the De La Salle Collegiate tuition assistance fund. The family hopes to aid at least three students.
DiGiuseppe, a 1973 alumnus, was a reporter for Little Rock radio station, KARN when his life was cut short. He was well-known in the area for his reporting, particularly of agricultural news.
Although DiGiuseppe had attended the Roeper School in Oakland County through eighth grade, his sister says her parents, particularly her mother, wanted Gary to attend high school at De La Salle and experience a Christian Brothers’ education.
“Gary had skipped a grade,” DiGiuseppe-Zuniga said. “My mother had attended Dominican and believed that the structure of the all-boys’ environment and the De La Salle academic program would be good for Gary.”
During high school, he was involved with the school’s jazz and concert bands, the Wig and Mask Society in the pit orchestra as well as backstage, and the school yearbook. A talented musician, he played both piano and clarinet.
Classmate Kevin Bentley recalled spending time at the DiGiuseppe home in St. Clair Shores.
“Five of us spent a lot of time at Gary’s house, and I remember the organ in the family’s living room,” Bentley said. “We would take our band instruments with us, and spend time playing.”
Another high school friend, Mark Miller, recalled DiGiuseppe. “He was a very smart guy and was active in school, and was also very quiet,” Miller said.
Following high school, DiGiuseppe attended the University of Michigan, and later transferred to Eastern Michigan University. He began writing for various agricultural publications, becoming an on-air agricultural reporter, and lived all over the Midwest.
DiGiuseppe had been in Little Rock for approximately 15 years at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife Mary, now deceased, and three children. DiGiuseppe’s brother, Joseph, died of leukemia the summer before Gary’s senior year; DiGiuseppe’s son, Andrew, was 5 when he died in a car accident.
“Gary really had his share of heartbreak,” DiGiuseppe-Zuniga said.
“Gary DiGiuseppe is another alumnus who went out and made a difference,” said Greg Esler, the school’s major gifts officer. “He was well respected at the national level as a broadcaster and journalist and was an icon in the Little Rock area.”
“I hope we do some good and help kids who need financial support,” DiGiuseppe-Zuniga said.
To make a donation, contact Esler at 586.541.6254 or firstname.lastname@example.org