Published in the November 1, 2016 edition.
A lifelong resident of Wakefield, Charles was born on Oct. 30, 1928 to the late Joseph and Carmella (Benanato) Rizza.
Charlie, as he was known to all, spent many of his early days at Spinello’s Green House in Wakefield which fostered his love of gardening and all things green. Taking great pride in his property he was always eager to share his gift with family, friends and neighbors; even with the woodchucks that visited his garden often.
His business degree from Burdett College and 45 years with the Prince Macaroni Company never dulled his spirit for gardening as he worked for a local florist arranging and delivering flowers after retiring in 1993.
Charlie was an active member of his graduating class of ‘47 from Wakefield High until his death. He will long be remembered for his genuine smile and good heart. Papa, as he was fondly known by his six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, played both the teacher and student to them, as he took on the challenges of our changing world.
Serving two memorable years in the Korean War, he married only once to his life love, Barbara Aretusi, after his discharge in May ‘54. They raised two boys, Charlie Jr. and Gary.
Charlie’s greatest loss was the death of Barbara in 2002; they had been married for 48 years sharing many happy memories with family and friends including their many trips abroad.
Charlie is survived by sister Margaret; his brother James; two sons, Charlie Jr. and his wife Susan and Gary and his wife Diana; grandchildren Cindy and her husband Peter, Joe and his wife Casie, Nicole, Hannah, Hailey and Ben Rizza, and three great-grandchildren, Lucia, Jasper and Charles Salvatore Rizza II.
Family will receive friends at McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Thursday, Nov. 3, from 4 to 8 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Florence Parish, 47 Butler Ave., Wakefield on Friday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. Interment to follow at Forest Glade Cemetery, Wakefield.