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  • County mourns passing of Roy Schoonover

    May 07, 2015 | Read More News
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    Roy Schoonover, a tireless advocate for expansion and completion of The Loop and an avid bicyclist, died April 25 after a long life filled with adventure and accomplishments. roy schoonover

    Schoonover represented bicyclists on numerous committees throughout Pima County, and was instrumental in securing $8.4 million in Regional Transportation Authority bicycle and pedestrian funds to help make The Loop a reality.

    In honor of his time and efforts in meetings with the Bicycle Advisory Committee, Pima Association of Governments, Pima County Bond Advisory Committee and the RTA, the County honored Schoonover in November 2013 by dedicating a trailhead on the Julian Wash segment of The Loop to him.

    “Roy was a tireless advocate for bicycle and pedestrian needs in Pima County and a great visionary,” said Assistant County Administrator Nanette Slusser. “He was The Loop’s favorite uncle.”

    Slusser met Schoonover when the latter was trying to get a meeting with County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry to present plans to connect the linear river parks the County had built along the Santa Cruz, Rillito and Pantano rivers. Slusser helped facilitate the meeting, and Schoonover presented diagrams to Huckelberry showing how bicycle and pedestrian paths could eventually circle all of Tucson.

    roy and rayDue in large part to the persistence of Schoonover, The Loop went from a 35 percent completion in 2006 to more than 85 percent completion last year. However, Schoonover was never one to take credit. In an interview in late 2014 about his role on The Loop, he commended numerous County employees and bicycling advocates with ties to the County and City of Tucson.

    “All I did was push a little,” he said. “I knew if I could just get Chuck to see what outdoor enthusiasts saw as possible, we’d have a great recreational amenity right here in Tucson. Other people had the ideas, I just had the persistence.”

    Schoonover, who retired from IBM in 1986, cycled hundreds of miles weekly before becoming ill a few years ago. His friends and family will celebrate his life in a memorial service sometime this fall.

    The Loop just marked the completion of its latest segment on May 2, bringing the total of miles of trail to slightly more than 100. When completed, the path will be 131 miles long and connect the Rillito, Santa Cruz and Pantano River Parks with the Julian Wash and Harrison Greenways, as well as sending path links into Marana, Oro Valley and South Tucson.

    For more information and the latest maps and news about The Loop visit our webpage.