PORTLAND - Frank T. Rizzo, Jr., age 86, of West Main Road in Portland, N.Y., died Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012 at Westfield Memorial Hospital in Westfield, N.Y.
Frank was born on May 18, 1925 in Brocton, N.Y., the son of the late Frank T. and Angeline (Columbus) Rizzo, Sr.
A Portland resident most all his life, Frank had been self-employed as a commercial truck driver, staying active in trucking right up until his death. He had owned and operated the family grape farm on Route 20 in Portland for many years and was known as a pioneer in machine picking. An active member of the Portland Volunteer Fire Department since April 1, 1941, Frank had served many years as chief and as a fire commissioner. He was a member of many fire department associations in Chautauqua County and Western New York and had been recognized in 1991 by former President George W. Bush and then Gov. Mario Cuomo for his commitment of over 50 years to volunteer fire service. Frank was an avid card player and loved pitching horseshoes. He and his wife had wintered in Zephyrhills and Leesburg, Fla., for several years. He was a fan of casinos and slot machines, was an avid Buffalo Bills fan and loved the New York Yankees. However, Frank's family was the love of his life. His devotion to his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandson was most important to him.
Frank T. Rizzo, Jr.
Mr. Rizzo was a member of St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church (formerly St. Patrick's R. C. Church) of Brocton, the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge No. 118 of Westfield, the Portland Fireman's Exempt Association and the SWAVF.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Christina M. (Schrader) Rizzo, whom he married on Nov. 13, 1948 in Brocton; his two sons, Frank T. Rizzo III, of Alachua, Fla., and Michael L. Rizzo of Portland; and his daughter, Judith M. Helman of Westfield. Frank was the proud grandfather of Andrew Rizzo of Gainesville, Fla., Lindsay Rizzo of Portland, Michael L. Rizzo, Jr. and Erica Rizzo both of Portland, James Helman, Jr. of Tonawanda, N.Y., and RaeKel Helman of Westfield, as well as his great grandson, Aric Jett Rizzo of Gainesville, Fla.
He was preceded in death by his brothers, Premo I, Peter, Nicholas, James, Premo II and Angelo Rizzo, and by his sisters, Mary Fiorino, Genevieve Tiller, Sally Mason and Caroline Rizzo.
Friends called on Thursday, Feb. 2 from 2 to 4 p.m., and 6 to 8 p.m., at the MASON Funeral Home, 37 Clinton Street in Westfield, N.Y. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday morning at 11 a.m., at St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church of Brocton, 12 Central Avenue in Brocton, N.Y., with Father Marius J. Walter officiating. Burial was in Portland Evergreen Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Portland Vol. Fire Dept. Portland, N.Y. 14769.
Log on to www.masonfuneral.com to send the Rizzo family a message of sympathy.