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Joseph A. Cipolla, president of Bella Vista Group, active in politics, Lancaster community

March 9, 1967 – Sept. 3, 2015

Joseph A. Cipolla, president and co-owner of Bella Vista Group and a real estate developer, died Thursday in his Lancaster home following a short illness. He was 48.

One of eight children, Mr. Cipolla was born in Buffalo and was a lifelong Lancaster-area resident. He graduated from Lancaster High School.

He received a business degree from Medaille College and certification in commercial property management from the International Council of Shopping Centers. He also attended SUNY Albany, University at Buffalo, Canisius College and Erie Community College.

Along with his father, Pasquale “Pat” Cipolla, and sister Penny Cipolla, Joseph co-owned and helped run the longtime family business known as Bella Vista Group in Bowmansville. Joseph Cipolla also was the company president and senior property manager, first starting work for the company when he was 16 and working his way up through the ranks.

Previously, he worked as a union laborer with Anastasi Trucking and Paving, which at one time was linked with Bella Vista. The business partnership dissolved in 1998. Mr. Cipolla also was a former grant writer and community development director for the Village of Depew.

He had a passion for local politics and was heavily involved in the Erie County Conservative Party, of which he was vice chairman for 10 years. Up until his death, he was active in the Good Government Club of Western New York and was the former chairman of the Cheektowaga and Lancaster Conservative parties. In addition, he was a founding member of the Depew Action Party.

“His life revolved around his work. His main focus was the family business. And politics, for him, was a big interest and hobby,” said his wife of 17 years, the former Dana D. Olivieri. “He just did so much for the Lancaster-Depew community. He sponsored sports organizations and was very generous with the Lancaster-Depew Boys & Girls Club, and making sure they always had what they needed.”

Mr. Cipolla was a lifelong member of the Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster/Depew and an honorary member of the Pulaski Police Association. His wife said he enjoyed spending time with his three children and riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle. He also adored his two dogs, Bentley and Lola.

He was a lifelong parishioner of St. Martha’s Church in Depew, formerly Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.

Survivors in addition to his wife include his parents, Dolores and Pasquale Cipolla; two daughters, Juliana and Jillian; a son, Joseph P.; three sisters, Ami Samuels, Penny and Danette; and four brothers, Daniel, Patrick, John and Carlos.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday in St. Mary of the Assumption Church, 1 St. Mary’s Hill, Lancaster.