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Former Tucson Councilman Roy Laos dead at 65

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Former Tucson Councilman Roy Laos dead at 65

  • Roy Laos
    courtesy Roy's Corner MarketRoy Laos
  • courtesy Roy's Corner Market

Roy B. Laos, a Tucson businessman who served on the Tucson City Council for more than a decade in the 1970s and '80s, died Saturday at age 65.

Laos, a Republican, held the Ward 5 Council seat from 1977 to 1989, with a brief absence when the state Supreme Court removed him from office.

He died over the weekend of "a brief illness," a family representative said.

The Laos family has operated a store at the Five Points intersection, on 6th Avenue just south of Downtown, for more than 50 years. Founded by his parents Roy Laos Jr. and Anna Baffert Laos, Roy's Corner Pharmacy and Liquors was renamed Roy's Corner Market after Laos took over the business in 2014. His grandfather, Roy Laos Sr., founded Tucson's first bus system in 1924

A Tucson High School graduate, Laos earned a B.S. in Public Administration from the University of Arizona. He was first elected in 1977, ousting Democrat Rudy Castro.

Laos unsuccessfully ran for Congress against U.S. Rep. Mo Udall in 1982, garnering 26 percent of the vote. Because of that run, which violated Arizona's "resign to run" law, the state Supreme Court removed him from his Council office in July 1984. He defeated his appointed replacement, Eva Colunga, in the GOP primary the next year, and won a third term on the Council. Laos was defeated in 1989 by Democrat Steve Leal.

He served just more than a year as the town manager of Marana, beginning in 1991.

Laos is survived by his four brothers, a son and a grandson.

A funeral service will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 215 S. Craycroft Rd., on Saturday, June 1, at 9 a.m.

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