Jerome P. Rizzo
Lansing Funeral Home
32 Auburn Road
Lansing, NY
Rizzo, Jerome P. (Jerry),

Jerome P. Rizzo (Jerry), age 52 of Lansing, passed away peacefully on April 11, 2017 after a heroic battle with brain cancer.

Jerry is survived by his parents George and Janice; his beloved wife of 25 years, Henriette; their daughters, Emily and Julianna; his siblings, Julie Rizzo-Regenauer (Michael) of Massachusetts, Robyn Rizzo of Massachusetts, Christopher Rizzo (Karen) of New Jersey; as well as a large extended family.

Jerry received a B.A. in Economics from Williams College, an M.A. in Educational Administration from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MBA, with Distinction, from Cornell. He was the inaugural Executive Director of the Leadership Programs at Cornell's business school until 2016. He was also a Senior Lecturer of Leadership. Prior to this, Jerry served as the Executive Officer of Cornell's Naval ROTC unit.

In 1991, Jerry began his 21 year highly distinguished career in the United States Marine Corps. He attended the TOPGUN and Marine Corps Weapons and Tactics Instructor Courses, receiving every possible F/A-18 flight leadership designation. Later, he was selected as one of four Marines Corps F/A-18 aviators to serve as a TOPGUN Instructor. His military service included volunteering as a Forward Air Controller in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, deployment in the peace enforcement operations in Kosovo, and participation in Operation Strengthen Hope, the 2006 evacuation of American and Allied citizens from Lebanon. Jerry's awards include the Daughters of the American Colonists Honor Award, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat V and Achievement Medals, NATO Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, National Defense Medal, and Kosovo Campaign Medal along with a Presidential Unit Citation.

Jerry was a passionate and talented football coach. His career began at the Delbarton School in New Jersey and included coaching at Williams College, University of California at Berkeley, Ithaca College and Cornell. In 2002, Jerry was assigned to the United States Naval Academy as a physical education instructor and varsity Sprint football coach. He received the Naval Academy's 2002 Varsity Coach of the Year award.

Jerry was extraordinary and undeniably accomplished. His devotion and unconditional love for his family and friends will be remembered forever. He was an amazing husband and father to his two lovely daughters, whom he greatly adored. He remained a humble man and was always quick to mentor and help others reach their full potential. Jerry had the gift of touching the lives of anyone fortunate enough to know him.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed toward college educational plans which have been established for Jerry's daughters, Julianna at and Emily at

Calling hours will be from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, Tuesday, April 18th, at Lansing Funeral Home, 32 Auburn Rd., Lansing, NY. A funeral mass will be held at 10:00 am, Wednesday, April 19th, at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 302 St. Catherine's Circle, Ithaca, NY. Burial, with full military honors, at Arlington National Cemetery will occur at a later date.

Published by Ithaca Journal from Apr. 13 to Apr. 14, 2017.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Calling hours
4:00p.m. - 6:00p.m.
Lansing Funeral Home
32 Auburn Road, Lansing, NY
Funeral Mass
St. Catherine of Siena Church
302 St. Catherines Circle, Ithaca, NY
Funeral services provided by:
Lansing Funeral Home
Sponsored by The Ithaca Journal.
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31 Entries
I served with then Major Rizzo, USMC, in Iraq during the "March Up" in 2003. He was a volunteer who stepped up to the place to serve as a FAC. We were a young and untested company heading into combat for the first time. The Major was a welcomed addition to the Company. I am especially grateful for his counsel, advise, and mentorship. He helped me be a better commander and was integral to our success in combat. You are sorely missed. Thank you again for all you've did for me and my Marines. Rest easy my friend. Semper Fidelis.
Cesar Rodriguez
January 24, 2018
rest in peace
cj wise
December 16, 2017
Some people in life we only spend a brief period of time with but you gel with instantly. I met Jerry in 1990, he was my head Coach in Leicester, England. He had a was that inspired players and people around him. I swapped a Italian coloured tracksuit with Jerry for his Williams College jacket which I still have, although all covered in paint. When he left the Uk he gave me his college sweatshirt from Delbarton. I remember he had a soft spot for my sister who was quite fond of Jerry also. I only found out yesterday of the sad passing and although I hadn't seen Jerry for 27 years and only knew him for 6 months he was one of those guys you' hoped or paths would cross again someday. RIP Coach RizzoYour jacket is safe with me!!!
Rex Harrison
September 30, 2017
Jerry, you will surely be missed by your many friends and your family. Your military funeral was an honor to attend. God is with you. Thank you for your service. With much love and understanding.
Dennis/Donna OConnell
August 21, 2017
Jan and George, Juan Carlos and I send our condolences to you and everyone in your family. May all the memories of this very special son carry you during this time. Love and peace to you both.
Josie and Johnny Alvarez
Josie Alvarez
August 20, 2017
We had a pleasure to meet Jerry in Naples Florida
He was so interesting to listen to him about being a pilot and his experiences being in the service .
He accomplished so much in a short time
And will be missed .George and Jan you should be so proud and god bless the whole family
Marietta and Al
August 20, 2017
Jan, I had no idea this was your husband, I am so sorry for your loss, and understand the grief you must feel. He sounds like a wonderful talented, and kind man, missed by so many. Marsha Webb Lavin
Marsha Lavin
August 20, 2017
I met Coach Riz as a sophomore at Williams College. He took me under his wing and we formed a special bond. Hearing the news that he's passed hit me like a ton of bricks. I will always remember him and his exceptionalism and his impact upon my life. God Bless you and your family Coach.
David Weck
May 16, 2017
I hadn't seen Jerry in years, but remember him well and fondly from Williams. Truely an impressive man. Our thoughts are with Jerry's family and loved ones.
John Malloy
May 7, 2017
He impacted more people thank you will ever know. A great role model and example. Our prayers are with you.
Michael Kuiper
April 24, 2017
Jerry clearly dedicated his life to his loving family, serving others, and providing decades of unselfish military service to his country! There are too few men of Jerry's caliber in our world. He will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate to know him.

Dennis Osika
Dennis Osika
April 22, 2017
I had the pleasure of playing with Riz my freshman year when he was a senior and then having him as a assistant coach after he graduated. Good man and a fierce competitor!!! Always enjoyed having a few laughs with him. My condolences to his family. Rest in peace brother!!
Brian Stevens
April 21, 2017
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Twin Tiers Honor Flight, we extend our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Rizzo. His service to our country and his devotion to his family are an inspiration. Peace and comfort to all who knew him.
Twin Tiers Honor Flight
April 19, 2017
To the Rizzo Family, I remember Jerry when he was a very cocksure freshman football player. He was obviously a fine athlete and passionate. I came to really enjoy being around Jerry as both a teammate and friend. Though over 30 years have passed since we last saw one another, I stand in total admiration for the life Jerry lived. Service to others, what a meaningful and lasting legacy he leaves, albeit way too early. My heartfelt condolences to Henriette, Emily, Julianna and the entire family.
Mike de Windt
April 18, 2017
Praying for peace and comfort for Coach's family at this time of sorrow. I have very fond memories of Coach Rizzo at USNA as he coached my son, Dane and others on the Sprint Football team. It was an honor to know him and watched just how much he put into coaching them. From the class of 2005 I would like to say Thank You, Coach!
The memories will live on.

From the Mom of one the players who always made sure they were fed after each game, no matter where the game was played.
Roberta Rhoden
April 17, 2017
George and Janice we are so sorry to hear of your lost, please pass on our most sincere condolences to the rest of your family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Ola & Emma LeBlanc
Ola& Emma LeBlanc
April 17, 2017
I had the privilege and pleasure to know Jerry as kids growing up in Natick as my cousin. We both played sports only he played them well and I remember always being envious of his athletic skills. I regret not seeing him much as adults but it would have been difficult to do considering it took me five minutes just to read all of his accomplishments. I would have had difficulty just trying to find where he was with all he did. But as we all know, amongst Jerry's greatest qualities - toughness, intelligence, leadership, courage, honor, compassion and love for his family, humbleness was amongst them. He certainly leaned this quality from my Uncle and Aunt because although they shared some of Jerry's accomplishments, I did not know a quarter of them before having just read the extensive list. I have often bragged to my friends about Jerry's extensive service as a pilot and football coach but apparently didn't do a good enough job. It does not seem fair that he has been taken from his family and friends. I am certain that he will continue to achieve accomplishments in heaven as he watches over his beautiful wife Henrietta and daughters Emily and Julianna. I am also certain he will find a way to make heaven a better place as he did for all of us on earth. I look forward to seeing you again cousin Jerome! God bless you Henrietta, Julianna, Emily my Aunt Jan and Uncle George, Julie, Mike, Robyn, Chris, Karen and the rest of your families during this very sad time in our lives.
Eric Millen
April 16, 2017
My sympathies to the Rizzo family. Lisa Zonghi (Wilson)
April 16, 2017
Henriette and family.
So sorry for your loss.
Jerry was such a sweet caring man.
Prayers and hugs-
Stacy Brown
April 15, 2017
Jerry had the best laugh !!!!! A huge heart and very kind soul .... Julie and the rest of the family, my prayers are with you through an incredibly difficult time ! Hugs and much love, Franco Scirpo
April 15, 2017
I'm so very sorry for your loss! Diane Ramsey!
Diane Ramsey
April 15, 2017
To the Rizzo Family,
I have never met your husband and father but serving as the current Navy Sprint Football Coach, I can tell you that your husband is loved and respected by so many players, coaches, and staff members here at the United States Naval Academy. His character, work ethic, and passion for the development of the young men on the team and on the yard is still the benchmark for all who have come after him.

His Legacy with Sprint Football will never end.
What your husband started continues to this day and will continue for many more years.

As our team moto says:
"The Legacy is not ours, but ours to uphold."

May God Bless you and your family during this difficult time.


Semper Fidelis,
Major Jeff Polson
[email protected]
Jeffrey Polson
April 15, 2017
My prayers and thoughts with Jerry's family and friends. I am grateful to have gotten the chance to know and work with him.
Christine Sneva
April 15, 2017
In 2004, Jerome Rizzo recruited me to come play Sprint Football at the Naval Academy. That experience, and his mentorship, changed my life. I'm who I am today because of Jerome Rizzo. He remains an inspiration to me. An amazing patriot, Marine, coach, teacher, leader, mentor, friend, and person. God bless.-Ryan Engle, USNA Class of 2007
Ryan Engle
April 14, 2017
Dear Jan , George, and Julie
I am so so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you all.
hugs and much love,

Joanne Schmalenberger
Joanne Schmalenberger
April 14, 2017
Our sincere condolences to all the Rizzo family for this greatest of losses. Keeping you all close to our hearts and in our prayers. Sending love from the Wiers.
Peter and Francesca Wier
April 14, 2017
So very sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful person. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Randy Allen
April 14, 2017
Always in my heart,and my prayers, love you both
Bonnir Kiley
April 14, 2017
I am so proud to have a Godson who was such a well rounded man. An outstanding husband, father, son. His accomplishments and courage were something to behold.
Unfortunately I never got to see Jerry and his ladies but thanks to George and Jan I was able to observe with love and pride all that was happening. God bless you all.
The Mortarelli family, Bob, David, Anne-Marie & Lynne
Bob Mortarelli
April 14, 2017
So sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time and always. Hugs.
Carla Sayles
April 13, 2017
Our hearts are breaking as we reflect on the passing of our Jerry, a magnificent young man of whom we are all so proud. We pray for as much courage and strength as he had--may he rest in peace.
Everlasting love, Auntie Carol, Uncle Dick, Eric & Stella, Anne & Mark, Noelle & Jim
Carol Millen
April 12, 2017
Showing 1 - 31 of 31 results