grimaldi giuseppe

On January 6, 2024, Former International President Professor Dr. Giuseppe Grimaldi, died surrounded by family. (He preferred to be referred to as “Former International President” rather than “Past.”) Dr. Grimaldi was our eldest living international president and a charter life member of the Enna Lions Club of Enna, Italy. He had a strong commitment to Lions International, having a perfect attendance record for 32 years. He was the first Italian to serve as international president.   

Being a foremost neuropsychiatrist in Italy, he was appointed as the professor of neurology and head of the Department of Neurology at Enna General Hospital. Other professional accomplishments included serving as director of the Italian Medical-Surgical Order and as a member of the Italian Red Cross, the Medical Court of Justice and many international academies. In recognition of his many contributions to his profession and his community, Dr. Grimaldi received the medal of "Grande Ufficiale," one of the highest honors granted by the Italian government, and the Premio Garipoli or "Man of the Year" in Sicily. 

Dr. Grimaldi balanced being a doctor, a Lion, an actor and a civic leader with his family life. He and his wife, Ariane, a citizen of Switzerland, had four sons: Luigi, Giancarlo, Marco and Stefano. While maintaining his official residence and office in Enna, he and Ariane managed to enjoy the charm of both sunny Sicily and picturesque Lugano in the heart of the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland. 

Passionate about Lions clubs, he often said that Lions should have continuous dialogue with the leaders of local government to ensure that their leadership is recognized, and they will know how best to carry out the Lions’ humanitarian mission to serve people in need.  

Dr. Grimaldi spoke from a sense of deep commitment. This was reflected from his years of action as a leader in civic causes and the memory of harsh wartime childhood experiences. He insisted that Lions need to embrace this concept of leadership and meet the challenges they face because of the unique place they occupy in their communities.  

Dr. Grimaldi’s involvement with Lions began in 1968 when he was district governor. Since that year, he attended every Europa Forum and international convention. He was privileged to serve as an international director from 1972-74 during the presidential terms of George Friedrichs and Tris Coffin. In 1976, he offered his name as a candidate for third international vice president and was soundly defeated by his good friend Lloyd Morgan of New Zealand. Not disappointed, he accepted the democratic vote of the delegates and vowed to work even harder on behalf of the association’s global mission. His hard work eventually paid off. Dr. Grimaldi was elected as president of the International Association of Lions Clubs at the 77th annual international convention held in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, July 12-15, 1994.   

In recognition of his service to the association, he received numerous awards, including 20 International President’s Awards, the 30-, 35- and 40-Year Monarch Chevron Award, the Humanitarian Partner Bronze - Diamond Award, and the Ambassador of Good Will Award, which is the highest honor bestowed upon Lions. He was also named a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow for his support of Lions Clubs International Foundation.