ANTHONY RIZZO, SR. I. Anthony Rizzo Sr. I., born December 12, 1916 to Salvatore Rizzo and Maria La Pluma in Palermo Sicily passed away from illnesses at age 95. The last child of 12 siblings, all now deceased: Josephine Bruno, Catarina Lappi, Maria Guastella, Lena Roppolo, Francesco Rizzo, Giasseppi Rizzo, Vincenzo Rizzo; and four other siblings died in Italy as infants: Salvatore, Vitorio, Gina, and Santa. After migrating from Italy through Ellis Island, Mr. Rizzo's family lived in Brooklyn, NY. From there they relocated to Gulfport, MS to join relatives in the shrimp fishing business. The family next moved back to the Little Italy section of New York and became involved in a produce business. They then moved to Chicago, eventually settling in Northwest Indiana. Mr. Rizzo attended Froebel High School. He had his own concrete finishing business and was employed at United States Steel Corp. He played a variety of sports and was middleweight boxing champion with U.S. Steel Boxing Club and Gary/Chicago CYO in 1937, 1938, and 1939. He served as a City of Gary Firefighter. During World War II, he enlisted in the United States Army for a short time, only to be reinstated with the Fire Dept. when Japan surrendered and the war was over. He served with the Gary Fire Dept. for over 25 years until he retired with the rank of Captain. Mr. Rizzo was also involved in the family operation of several Italian restaurants, with his wife Ruth (deceased), and other Rizzo family members. The most renowned of the businesses was The Ricochet Pizza and Restaurant in Gary. Upon his restaurant retirement, Mr. Rizzo was employed with the Lake County Dept. of Weights and Measures until moving near his immediate family in central Florida, Palm Harbor and St. Petersburg. He belonged to several civic and fraternal organizations including, Italian American Club, Elks Lodge, Firefighters Assn., American Legion, Sheriff's Assn., Military Wounded Warriors Foundation and Hospice Foundation. He was a member of St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church and Diocese Cathedral in St. Petersburg, FL. He is survived by his son Anthony and his wife Kim; daughters: Marie, Patricia, and Francis, residing in Florida, Las Vegas, California and Northwest Indiana respectively; several grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren; several nephews, nieces and family in the U.S. and Italy. He fought hard, loved compassionately, adored his family, and passed on with true dignity. Funeral services will be held Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at Burns Funeral Home, 10101 Broadway, Crown Point, IN. Interment in Calumet Park Cemetery, Merrillville. Friends are invited to meet with Mr. Rizzo's family on Thursday, July 19, 2012 from 2:00-8:00 p.m. at Burns Funeral Home. Contributions may be made to The Wounded Warriors Foundation or to the Hospice Foundation. www.burnsfuneral.com
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Published in The Times on Jul. 18, 2012.