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Ray Rizzo

April 21, 2014
Special to the Reporter ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Ray Rizzo, husband of Darlene Rizzo, died at Health Park Medical Center on March 31, 2014. He was born Jan. 9, 1928 in Chicago, Ill. He and his wife Darlene lived in Periwinkle Park where his family: mother Josephine Rizzo, brother Joe Rizzo, and uncle Louis Petroski have visited and lived for over 40 years. Darlene and Ray have been year round residents since1990.

Ray graduated from Lindblom High School in Chicago, Ill., where he played various varsity sports and was captain of the football team his senior year. He also played football at the University of Illinois and went on to coach in youth leagues in the Chicago area. One of his players, Dennis Lick, went on to play for Ray's favorite team the Chicago Bears.

Many will remember Ray from watching football with him at Doc Ford's, George and Wendy's, or the Lazy Flamingo. When Ray went into the Army in 1946, they recognized his athletic and leadership skills and made him an athletic instructor. He served at William Beaumont General Hospital in El Paso, Texas, where he supervised patient rehab as well as organizing patient and personnel athletic leagues. He was also charged with administering and evaluating physical fitness tests for those seeking admission to West Point. Ray retired in 1990 from BMO Harris Bank in Chicago, Ill., where he met his wife Darlene. His daughter Janet is currently employed at the same bank.

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On Sanibel Island, Fla., Ray was a member at The Dunes and enjoyed sunny afternoons with his wife and friends at the pool, floating on his Chicago Bears orange and blue noodle.

Besides his wife Darlene, Ray is survived by his daughter Julie Walsh and her children Kelly McWilliams (Shawn), and her sons Brian Walsh and Dan Walsh; his daughter Janet Pelegrino and her daughter Jessica; his brother Joe Rizzo (Marie); and his sister Shirley Casalina (Dominic).

Services were held April 4, 2014 in Fort Myers, Fla., with Father Joseph Clifford presiding. Family will also share a private celebration of Ray's life later this month on Sanibel Island, Fla.



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