Louis Nello Tognacci of Chandler, Arizona passed away on October 14, 2020.
He was born March 30, 1940 to Virginia and Ned Tognacci and grew up in Taylorville, Illinois.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Jack Ronchetto and Tommy Tognacci, sisters Margie Tilton and Elaine Brown, and his son, Mark Tognacci. He leaves behind Marilyn (Weiss), his wife of nearly 50 years, their sons Ned Tognacci (Rachelle), Bob Tognacci (Emily), his brother Jim, and grandchildren Chloe, Lizzy, Ava, Joey and Sam.
Lou grew up in quintessential small-town America. He spoke fondly of his hometown of Taylorville, Ill., where he spent his teenage days playing sports, singing in local groups, playing the trombone with the municipal band, and frequenting the local bakery. Lou graduated from Taylorville Highschool in 1958.
After graduation, Lou maintained his love of music, art, literature, and philosophy. Influenced by Jack Kerouac and James Dean, Lou spent a summer in Venice Beach, Calif. Later, he joined the United States Air Force where he spent much of his time in White Sands, New Mexico with his first wife, Sandy and their son, Mark.
Lou graduated with a master’s degree in Social Psychology from New Mexico State University. Lou pursued a doctorate at the University of Colorado where he conducted research and taught. While in Boulder he also worked as the manager of The Foot of the Mountain Motel, a place his young sons loved to visit. After relocating to Arizona, Louis worked at the Marc Center and then as a senior transportation planner for ADOT.
After retirement, Lou enjoyed spending time with family, and putting his love of statistics and strategy to use by committing fully to his fantasy sports teams. Lou, Marilyn, and family enjoyed the beautiful outdoors by hiking and playing sports together. He shared his love of learning with his sons by reading, playing chess, and engaging them in discussions about many topics. He continued this tradition with his grandchildren and spent many family dinners engaging them in conversation. He marveled at each grandchild’s individual development and made sure they all knew they were wonderful and cherished.
Lou, an avid conversationalist, thrived on the human connection. Although a perfectionist himself, he was accepting, generous, and caring towards all others. He was a true intellectual and even achieved the ranking of Grandmaster in Chess. He was interesting and shared unique perspectives on movies, books, current events, and life. He never missed an opportunity to tell a loved one he cared. Despite declining health, he made sure to tell each visitor, “I love you.” We love you, Lou. You were wonderful.