Paul J. Rizzo
1928 - 2017
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Paul Joseph Rizzo

January 4, 1928 - February 23, 2017

Chapel Hill

Paul Joseph Rizzo passed away Thursday, February 23, 2017. He was born January 4, 1928 in Utica, New York and graduated from Clinton High School. He went on to attend and play football at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece. After graduating from UNC, Paul joined Dan River Mills, in Dan River, VA. There, he met his future wife, Sidna Chockley. He joined IBM in the late 1950's and enjoyed a very successful career which culminated in the position of vice chairman of the board. After his retirement, he became dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC for five years. He was also a partner at Franklin Street Partners, Inc. and served as chairman of that firm. Paul was a director on many boards including Ryder Systems Inc., Fairfield University, Hollins University, BTI Telecom Corp., Xanthon, Inc., Pharmaceutical Product Development, Cox Enterprises, McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., RTI International, The Maersk Company Limited, Johnson & Johnson, Morgan Stanley, and Pozen Inc. In addition, he served on the board of UNC Healthcare System, the UNC Board of Visitors, the UNC Educational Foundation Executive Committee, and the UNC Board of Governors. He was honored with the 1994 William Richardson Davie Award and the UNC General Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Medal. In addition, Paul also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his outstanding accomplishments in business, higher education administration, and philanthropy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kenan-Flagler's Paul J. Rizzo Conference Center at Meadowmont is named in his honor.

Paul is preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Sidna, as well as his sister, Genevieve Mills. He is survived by his children David (Robin), Ann Bingham (Joe), and Beverley Cook (Mark); his grandchildren, Paul Rizzo, Sam Rizzo, Mary Bingham, Stephen Bingham, Hunter Cook, and Matthew Webb; his sister, Marguerite Stewart; his brother, Donald Rizzo (Diane); his brothers-in-law Sam Reefe and Don Mills; several nieces and nephews; as well as very special friends who are like family.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center or the James Spurling Football Scholarship Fund at UNC.

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Published in The News and Observer from Feb. 24 to Feb. 25, 2017.
Memorial service
10:00 AM
Chapel of the Cross Chapel Hill
Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
February 27, 2017
Mr. Rizzo leaves behind a lasting legacy of goodness to people who never met him. I am one of those people. Because of Mr. Rizzo's work to bring IBM to RTP, I became a contractor to IBM. This work has enabled me to support my son and adjunct family members. The moments I shared with my son for being able to be there for him and provide for him have meant the world to me. I am forever deeply, deeply grateful.

I send heartfelt condolences to Mr. Rizzo's family.
Patsy Kravitz
February 25, 2017
I only knew Paul for a few short months, but I was overwhelmed by what a gentleman and kind person he was. The world has lost one of the good ones. My sympathies to family and close friends
Amy Alexander
February 24, 2017
One of the finest gentlemen I have ever met. Fortunate to have known him and to call him friend. He touched many lives from all walks of life.
Debbie Carter
February 24, 2017
Paul Rizzo was one of a kind! A great boss & a wonderful person. I was fortunate 2B on the search committee that brought him back 2 UNC! He was a great influence on me & I was privileged to have had the chance to work with him.
Bill Fischer
February 24, 2017
a true leader in multiple arenas
jw sinwell
February 24, 2017
So sorry to hear the news of Paul's passing. He was loved and admired by those fortunate to have known him.
Paula Phillips
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