Pioneering AAA Director Leaves Legacy of Achievement

Marian Lupu, the founding director of the Pima Council on Aging (PCOA), the AAA serving Tuscon and Pima County, Arizona, who served in that capacity for over 40 years, passed away on Sunday, August 14. 

She was a long standing aging advocate and one of the first AAA directors in the nation. 

As word of her passing quickly spread, friends and colleagues shared the impact of this visionary and passionate advocate of older adults in news coverage that touted her many achievements over a life spanning 91 years.

According to Pima Council on Aging President and CEO W. Mark Clark, Marian was at the forefront of the movement to strengthen support for older adults when she began the work of establishing the Pima Council on Aging, among the very first AAAs in the nation. “In the early days, Marian worked from a coffee table in a spare room at a local nonprofit, but she didn't let a lack of resources stop her from raising awareness about the serious challenges confronting Tucson seniors,” Clark noted. “Over the years, her name became synonymous with ‘fierce champion of the elderly,' not only in Arizona, but nationally and there wasn't an elected official anywhere who wouldn't take her call.” 
“Marian helped train the first generation of AAA directors, setting a high bar for excellence and commitment in those crucial, early years,” said n4a CEO Sandy Markwood. “It is impossible to overestimate the profound impact she had, not only on the careers of so many who followed in her footsteps, but in helping to shape the future of the Aging Network."

Because so many of you have wonderful memories of Marian and would like to share them with your colleagues in the Aging Network, we would like to assist in compiling them. Please send your remembrances to Star Johnson at or visit n4a on Facebook.  



USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!