Honorable Tom Shope, J.P.
Born in Belle Plaine, Iowa, Tom
Shope arrived in Coolidge, Arizona, at the age of 4 and has lived here ever
since. Shope grew up in in a home on the corner of Main Street & Elm Avenue in
Coolidge and was raised in that home by his parents, Russell and Anna Shope,
along with his sisters Pat, Jennifer, Mary, and Beth.
Upon graduating from Coolidge
High School in 1966, Shope enrolled at Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher,
Arizona and later attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.
It was during his time at
Arizona State University that Shope truly embarked on his lifelong commitment to
Coolidge, Arizona, when he began his 40-plus year tenure as the “Voice of the
Coolidge Bears”, broadcasting for radio stations KCKY, KQEZ, and TV Channels 11
and 19. During that time, Shope painted the picture for the fans at home for 7
State Football Championship Seasons and 5 State Basketball Championship Seasons.
Shope assumed control of his
family’s business, Shope’s Market, in 1970. He oversaw the completion of his
father Russell’s dream of a larger building for the market, now called Shope’s
IGA. From the time of assuming control of the business, Shope has been active in
the Coolidge Chamber of Commerce, Retail Grocers Association of Arizona (now
Arizona Food Marketing Alliance) and the National Grocers Association. Some of
the highlights of that involvement include being selected as AFMA’s Arizona
Retailer of the Year in 1999, IGA’s Arizona Retailer of the Year in 1990 and the
winner of NGA’s Spirit of America Award in 1988. He has also served as the
Chairman of IGA-Arizona and RGA as well as serving a term as President of the
Coolidge Chamber of Commerce.
Shope’s political and community
involvement began in 1973 when he was appointed to fill out a term on the
Coolidge School Board. Since then, he has served as the Mayor of Coolidge for
eight terms as of 2014 and for many years was the only Republican Mayor in what
was then a solid Democratic Pinal County.
Shope attends St. James
Roman Catholic Church in Coolidge, where he has resided for all but four of his
years, and is active in the St. James Knights of Columbus. Shope is married to
Luz and has four children; Cyndi, Zandra, Kelli, and T.J.