Longtime Akron, Ohio, RV dealer John B. Sirpilla, 72, died Thanksgiving Day following a battle with cancer. Sirpilla founded Sirpilla Trailer Sales — now Sirpilla RV Super Center — in 1959 with his brother, Art, as a rental outlet from a service station they owned together. The brothers, who stressed customer service and supported the RV lifestyle by hosting local rallies, soon began selling RVs. The company grew rapidly into a multi-store operation that, at one time, had four locations in the Akron area.
When Art Sirpilla sold his share of the business in 1981, John B. Sirpilla concentrated on consolidating the separate locations into a sprawling dealership located on I-77 in Akron. In 1989, son John A. Sirpilla joined his father as a partner.
The elder Sirpilla became known in the area for his signature “ba-da-da boom boom” jingle in commercials that promoted the business.
In 2004, the dealership was purchased by Chicago area-based FreedomRoads LLC, where son John A. Sirpilla recently was named executive vice president of operations, overseeing key FreedomRoads’ initiatives.
John B. Sirpilla was involved in many community projects, including raising money for a chapel at Walsh University in Canton and for a sports complex at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Canton. In October, a football stadium in the complex was named after him.
“His honesty and work ethic defined the man he was,” John A. Sirpilla told the local newspaper.
Besides his son, Sirpilla is survived by his wife Veronica, daughters Renae McClelland and Laura Bosworth, and eight grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to Walsh University, St. Thomas High School, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in North Canton, or the Greater Stark County United Way in Canton.