1946 - 2021

Sharon Knight Rizzo  
Sharon Knight Rizzo passed away peacefully on the evening of Friday, April 2, 2021. She was born on August 19, 1946 in Anderson, IN, the daughter of James and Vetra Knight. As part of a military family, Sharon spent her early life in many places, including postwar Japan. She attended high school in El Paso, TX, received her bachelors degree from the University of Florida, and an MS in Marketing at the University of Memphis. In 1977, she moved from Memphis to Washington, DC, which became her one true hometown for 44 years. She had a rewarding career, contributing her intelligence and talents at Federal Express, where she was one of the very first employees hired by CEO Fred Smith in 1972. After moving to Washington, she held marketing positions at Shugoll Research, Nancy Low & Associates, and Pepco. in 2000 she joined the Central Intelligence Agency, where she worked in a variety of positions including the Directorate of Operations as well as Congressional Affairs. During her 14 year tenure at CIA she was recognized for her superior accomplishments, receiving the Exceptional Performance Award numerous times. After her retirement in 2014, she lived a full and wonderful life traveling the globe with her husband John, and spending time with her adoring family.  Sharon faced and overcame a great amount of adversity in her lifetime, including battling with and defeating cancer in 2014. She was the sort of person who never allowed hardships to stand in the way of her goals; whatever life threw her way, she always picked herself up and soldiered on. Her resilience and positive attitude paid off, particularly in the form of her fairytale 29 years of marriage to her devoted husband, John.  She was courageous, charming, and had exceptional style and glamour. Her generosity to her family and friends was constant and boundless. She brought love, compassion and radiance to the lives of those who were lucky enough to know her.  She is survived by her husband, John Rizzo, daughter, Stephanie Darga, stepson, James Rizzo, her beloved grandchildren, Sydney Rizzo and Jack Darga, and her sister, Marsha Lamb. She will be in our hearts forever, and we are so incredibly thankful for the time we had with her. Services are in the process of being scheduled; for further information please visit  
Published by The Washington Post from Apr. 18 to Apr. 20, 2021.
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4 Entries
Sharon was such a sweet person. Wes and I enjoyed getting to know her and John after his retirement. We wish the Rizzo family strength and comfort in the days ahead.
Pam Johnson & Wes King
May 5, 2021
Sharon was a beautiful person. We shared many laughs. Sharon adored her husband. She would often share fond stories about her daughter and stepson. Sharon was my friend. Condolences to the Rizzo family.

May 2, 2021
Runell,Allen,Brenda, Art
April 29, 2021
We're so sorry to hear about this and offer our deepest sympathy. Love from the Hopkins family
Ted Hopkins
April 22, 2021
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