Joseph Louis Rizzi Sr,
Joseph Louis Rizzi Sr, age 92 of Copley, passed away March 20, 2019.
Joe was born in Union City, N.J. October 21, 1926. He attended The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music majoring in Piano, served in the United States Navy where he completed Radio School in Bainbridge, Md in 1945, and served as a Field Branch Manager in Cleveland, Oh. He also played Accordion in the Navy Dance Band. In 1949 Joe began the Joe Rizzi Trio playing Jazz Piano, traveling along the east coast from New York City to New London, Connecticut. On New Year's Eve 1950 Joe opened his first restaurant The Blue Meadows, in New London, Connecticut, a full service restaurant and lounge featuring live music, where his Jazz Trio played.
In 1957 Joe moved to Akron, Ohio with his wife Marie Jo and children, and became very successful. He began working in sales for Toledo Scale, then opening Rizzi Distributors, Inc. in 1959. He took over a Globe Slicer Distributorship in the Akron, Canton, Cleveland areas in 1960, and in 1962 he opened the first Rizzi's To Go Shop in Fairlawn Plaza, followed by stores on W. Waterloo Rd, Akron, and in Wadsworth. He opened restaurants Rizzi's Ristorante and Pizzeria in Fairlawn Plaza in 1979, in Stow in 1989, and in Summit Mall in 1990. Rizzi's Other Place in Copley was opened in 1980, and continues to operate today.
Joe enjoyed a very active life. He loved playing the piano, touring with his Jazz Trio throughout the Akron, Canton, and Cleveland area, piloting and flying his private airplane, playing handball, reading,
the New York Giants and San Francisco Giants, and enjoying time with his family and friends. He will be dearly missed by all.
Preceded in death by his parents and son Daniel in 1980, he is survived by sons, Gary, Thomas, Joseph, Matthew(Patty), Michael;daughter, Natalie(Jason), 12 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, brother, Louis, and sister in law, Trudy, many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours 4-7pm Monday at Ciriello & Carr Funeral Home, 39 S. Miller Rd. in Fairlawn.
Mass of Christian Burial 9:30am Tuesday, March 26 at St. Bernard Catholic Church.
Interment at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery.
Memorials can be made to charity of your choice.