Mary Deloris Rizzo

Mary Deloris Rizzo

July 14, 1924 - December 06, 2010

Mary Deloris Rizzo

July 14, 1924 - December 06, 2010


Mom’s family was originally from Sicily, Italy. She was born on July 14th in 1924 in Portage, Pennsylvania. When the family moved to Akron, Ohio in 1942, her father opened a family Italian Grocery store. Mom didn’t want to work in the store, so she enrolled in the Hammond Academy of Cosmetology. She eventually opened her own Beauty Shop, which she owned for 9 years. Her shop was next door to Gene Kelley’s Dance Studio, and they became long-time friends. She rode the train to work everyday with her best friend, Janet Leigh, who became a famous actress. But mom’s true love was music, so she attended Akron University and studied Music Appreciation.

But her real story began in 1944 when Mom attended a Sadie Hawkins Day Dance at the Sicilian Club. This is where she met Carmen Rizzo. His brother Dominic’s band was playing, and Carmen was home on furlough from the Army. It was at this dance, they met and fell in love. It was love at first sight. They were engaged two weeks later and wrote letters daily for two years. They always made a point to look at the moon at the same time and date. They married in 1946. With dad’s career as National Merchandising Manager for McKesson, they were able to travel to many places. They also vacationed in Hawaii, Italy, the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Europe.

Mom was an Organist at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and Assumption Church in Westport, Connecticut. Here, she also directed a 52 voice choir for 7 years and also taught 3rd and 4th grade. In Walnut Creek, California, she was the Music Director for St. Mary’s Church and School in Walnut Creek, California for 14 years. Her students adored her. In fact, our Christmas tree was always filled with ornaments from her students of many years.

Once retired, she taught piano from her home and was the Organist/Choir Director for the United States Navy’s Station Chapel in Concord, California. She also found time to volunteer at the Senior Center where she chaired several Talent Shows, Fashion Shows, and Crafts Shows.

Mom will be best known for her beautiful silver gray hair and angelic singing voice. Some of her many talents were writing music, playing the piano and the organ at several Church services, and planning many musical productions.

She never went anywhere without her lipstick. Her strands of pearls were her favorite accessory, and today, all of her daughters and granddaughters are each wearing pearls from her collection.

Mom has touched the lives of many and will always be remembered as a caring and loving wife, mother, ‘nana’, sister, and teacher. She will be with us always, as each of us carry one of her greatest qualities.

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15 responses to Mary Deloris Rizzo

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  1. Jenni says:

    With a heavy heart I recall great memories of my beloved grandmother. She was the matriarch of a proud italian family where holiday dinners always had enough food for the whole neighborhood and the door was always open. She taught me to play the piano and welcomed me with open arms and a giant smile at each visit. My husband and I, who shared our first date with her and Popop at the Columbo Club 18 years ago, will cherish her in our hearts forever.

  2. Dear Uncle Carmen and dear cousins,
    I was truly sorry to hear of Aunt Mary’s passing. I will always remember her as a fun loving multi talented person. She always made me feel at home, whether I was visiting as a child with my parents, or as an adult with my husband and children. The trip that we took to California when my children were small is one that we still talk about as a family. God bless all of you at this difficult time.
    Aunt Mary, thank you for all of the beautiful memories.
    Love always,

  3. cozy richard says:

    Dear Carmen,
    I will always remember the good memories of you and Mary and your girls at all of our family functions. She was always smiling and always had such beautiful white hair, forever. I loved the times you lived in the Falls,which it made it even easier to stop over and visit. So many good memories in the grocery store,when I was young and Mary was always a fun,loving cousin in my eyes growing up.My prayers are with you and your daughters,and times spent with all of you.God bless all of you.Love, Cousins Cozy and Mike Richard, Also my mom Josephine,sends her love and prayers.

  4. Although We lived so far apart in our later years, I always remember how close we were in our youth. I shall always be your baby brother.


  5. O my dear Sister in Law..O how dear she was indead. I never forget when she came to Germany and from there we took her to Sicily. What a great and wonderful Time we had. And she really loved the country her Father came from to the USA.. and now she went to our All LORD and I never will forget my O so dear sweet Sister in Law MARIA
    Lisette Lentine

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