Concetta Stillavato Rizzuti

Rizzuti, Concetta


Concetta (or Connie) Rizzuti was called "Nonna" by many because she was a grandmother, and a mother, to anyone who came into her life. To her, la famiglia included all who entered her home needing comfort or wisdom. She provided a place of refuge, joy and peace to those who got to know her. Even with so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she found a way to make each one feel special. Whether it was giving each one a nickname, 'pancake,' 'cookie,' or feeding them strawberries and cream when they had the chicken pox and cutting the pb&j sandwiches into small squares... (do you see the pattern here? Italians love food). Walking into her home meant you were hungry, even when you weren't. She would say, "mangia, mangia" and you were sitting down to a meal. Just as food restores the body, she seemed to restore your soul. Many would go to Nonna to share their problems. She would share words of wisdom from the Bible. Her most remembered words: Non ti preocupare, this too shall pass. She endured many trials yet maintained her faith in God, never once complaining. She was a living example of dedication, conviction, and love. She knew her family was a gift and she took that seriously. Nonna was born in 1924 in a small town near Bari, Italy. From the ages of 13 to 23, she devoted her life to being a nanny. Although her education was limited she was able to make a career as a talented seamstress. Shortly after coming home from WWII, her future husband, Vincenzo "Jimmy" Rizzuti, met and fell in love with her, serenading her on countless nights from her window until she agreed to marry him. In the 50s, they moved to the United States to make a better life for their family. Nonna worked long hours in a sweatshop in Bushwick, NY, but still managed to center her life on her children. On Sunday, June 1, 2014, Nonna was reunited with her husband and her eldest son, Pasquale, nella vita eterna (in eternal life). She is survived by her children: Marie Abb, Anna DiMatteo, Michael Rizzuti, Elizabeth Tsipouroglou, Madeline Gould, their spouses, grandchildren, extended family and friends too numerous to list but not forgotten. Our family offers many thanks to aides, Carol Harper and Wendy Wrisley for their compassionate care and to Hospicare for their loving support of Concetta and our family. She became the cornerstone of our family and showed everyone vero amore (true love). Without you, Nonna, all our love stories would not exist. Funeral services will be held at 10 AM, Wednesday, June 4 at the Perkins Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Willow Glen Cemetery. Friends are invited to call from 4 to 6 PM, Tuesday at the funeral home, 55 West Main Street, Dryden. Memorials are directed to Hospicare, 172 East King Rd., Ithaca, NY 14840

Funeral Home

55 W MAIN ST  Dryden, NY 13053
(607) 844-8161

Published in Ithaca Journal on June 3, 2014