Dr. Richard A. Facciolo (1951 - 2012)

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Dr. Richard A.


Dr. Richard "Rick" Anthony Facciolo, 61, died on March 21, 2012 at Great River Hospice House in West Burlington, Iowa.

Born on January 17, 1951 in Wilmington, Delaware, Rick was the son of A. Anthony and Frances (Marra) Facciolo.

Rick graduated from Corpus Christi High School in 1969 and attended Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree. After college, Rick worked as an accountant for Delaware Plumbing Supply. His interest in education and sports led him to Sanford School where he became a substitute teacher and coach. In 1986, Rick left Wilmington for Redlands, California to assume a position as Assistant Head of Valley Preparatory School. During his tenure at Valley Prep, Rick continued his studies obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Vocational Education Studies.

In 1992, Rick accepted a position as the first Lay Principal at Sacred Heart School in Redlands. In 1995, during his service at Sacred Heart, Rick was shot in the face while sitting in his office by a 13-year-old male student. He underwent numerous reconstructive surgeries over the course of several years however, returned to his position as principal within 6 months of the shooting, seizing the opportunity to speak on his experience and to work with the community, faculty, students, their families and other schools to prevent similar acts of violence in the future. Rick's story made national news and he, partnered with Dr. Douglas Hendricks, his reconstructive surgeon, made frequent appearances on television and talk shows broadening not only the awareness of violence in schools but introducing the medical technology that Dr. Hendricks' developed, which transformed Rick's life. The procedure Dr. Hendricks' employed in Rick's reconstructive surgeries is widely acclaimed in today's medical literature.

In 1998, St. Theresa's Catholic School in Palm Springs, CA. recruited Rick as Principal. During his tenure he obtained a Master of Science Degree in Human Resources Management. He participated in the U.S. Department of Justice F.B.I. national symposium on school violence and was awarded a certificate of recognition for his contribution at a presentation in Washington, DC.

In 2000, Rick moved to Nevada to serve the Diocese of Las Vegas as Chancellor, Chief Administrative Officer, Director of Human Resources, first Lay Vicar for Education and Superintendent of Schools. In his role as Vicar for Education and Superintendent of Schools, he was responsible for all Diocesan schools and the Diocese's overall academic programs. He assisted in raising the funds and oversaw the development of a state of the art, $110 million Bishop Gorman High School. Rick obtained his Doctor of Education degree while in service to the Diocese.

In 2008, as President of Bishop Gorman High School, Rick continued to apply his academic development skills to advance the educational foundation for the children of the dioceses at the college preparatory level resulting in the elevation of Bishop Gorman High School to state and national recognition.

During 2010 and 2011, Rick held the positions of Superintendent of Schools for Bishop Hoffman Catholic schools in Freemont, Ohio, and Superintendent of Schools for Holy Trinity Catholic schools in Fort Madison, Iowa. Throughout his life journey, Rick continued working as an innovative leader in Catholic education with children as the focus. He raised the standards in our Catholic Schools and has left behind a great legacy.

Throughout Rick's 15 years of commitment to Catholic education, he headed numerous accreditation committees traveling across the country assisting Catholic schools in obtaining and maintaining their accreditation. He also managed to teach a business class at the University of Las Vegas for one year.

Rick Facciolo was more than an educator - he was a renaissance man. His interests were broad including sports, music, cooking, traveling, to name a few.

An avid sports fan, Rick was an outstanding athlete in his own right. He played basketball for Corpus Christi and Allentown. During the late 70's and early 80's he held down first base in the New Castle County Men's Recreational softball league playing alongside his brother, Steve, on a number of slow pitch teams. In his days as a teacher and administrator, he would often be seen playing basketball with the students. He was an ardent follower of the Notre Dame football team and attended numerous games at South Bend and around the country. Among his cherished Notre Dame memorabilia are several letters of correspondence from legendary, Irish coach, Lou Holtz.

Rick loved music and his interests spanned many genres. Rick especially enjoyed the guitar. As a teenager he took cursory guitar lessons and with three other friends formed a band, Marshmallow Gardens. He amassed an enormous collection of music, obtained a unique collection of guitars and was beginning to take piano lessons.

Rick loved good food and fine wine. He learned from a young age, in his grandmother's kitchen, the art of cooking. He enjoyed making the meal and savoring it with family and friends. To enhance his cooking skills, Rick attended the Culinary Institute of Cooking at Greystone in Napa, California where he took two classes. Rick's extensive collection of cookbooks included many that were personally autographed by chefs whose restaurants he visited during his travels across the country. He was a connoisseur of wines and had a marvelous collection of labels.

He is survived by his wife, Suzanne of Carmel, Indiana; his mother, Fran; a brother Frank (wife Erin); two nephews, Alexander and Anthony; a niece, Stephanie O'Keefe (husband Liam); and a great nephew, Callan O'Keefe, all of Wilmington. He will be missed by an enormous family of aunts, uncles and cousins, a lifetime of faithful and unfailing friends, and administrators, faculties and students across the country.

A Mass of Christian Burial honoring Rick's remarkable life will be held at Corpus Christi Church, 907 New Road, Elsmere, on Saturday, April 28 at 10:30AM. Visitation will begin at 9:45AM. Interment will be held privately for his family.

Doherty Funeral Homes

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Funeral Home
Doherty Funeral Homes - Delaware Avenue
1900 Delaware Avenue Wilmington, DE 19806
(302) 652-6811
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Published in The News Journal on Apr. 19, 2012