Friday, March 8, 2024

Rinaldo Fabrizio


Rinaldo “Ron” Fabrizio, a devout Catholic and loving family man with a gift for making others laugh, departed this life on Monday, March 4, at age 90.

Ron was born in Manhattan, New York, and grew up a huge fan of the New York Yankees and playing stick ball in the streets with his three brothers and other Italian boys. Asked one time who was the best at stick ball among the brothers, Ron said, “If I have to be honest, it was me.”

Ron was drafted by the Army and served for a time in Germany as a medical tech. He was discharged in 1957 and moved to Florida, reuniting with his brothers and living with them for a time. The brothers had fine singing voices, and a couple of them played instruments, so they enjoyed making music together.

Around the time of his Army discharge, Ron would occasionally show up to his older sister Sally’s hair appointment. The young hairdresser was named Carol, and she would become Ron’s wife of 61 years. They would raise six children and celebrate the arrival of eight grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

Ron and Carol settled in Pinellas Park and became mainstays at the Davis Fields ballfields, where all four of their boys were standout athletes. Ron was especially adept at teaching the kids baseball, and he would often hit his sons and their cousins fly balls in the Skyview Elementary School field behind their house.

The family were longtime parishioners at Sacred Heart Church in Pinellas Park and, later, at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Clearwater. After Carol’s passing in 2020, Ron remained very devout in his faith. He moved in with his son, Paul, and daughter-in-law, Lourdes (Lulu), and attended Incarnation Catholic Church in Orlando.

Ron was a jokester and a prankster – so much so that people he worked with long ago at the General Electric plant in Largo still talk about his antics today. He was famous for his unexpected animal impressions and his relentless teasing of anyone who was a little tight with the dollar bill. He was also known for his love of Notre Dame football and the great Italian quarterbacks in the NFL, although he tired of the politics in big-time sports and finally turned to the Golf Channel.

He always counted his blessings, but Ron experienced profound sadness in his later years, losing Carol and three of their six children. Ron’s three brothers and a sister also went before him, and they had all been especially close. He remained close with his remaining children, his grandchildren, and a niece, Amber Tidwell who visited frequently.

Two days before he died, great-granddaughter Gianna came to visit and he erupted with joy. Together with daughter Debra, Grandchild Kara, and sister Madeline, they laughed and sang and told stories until he fell asleep.

Ron is survived by sons Paul (Lourdes-Lulu) and Steven (Gina); daughter Debra; grandchildren Gregory Jr., Timothy, Johnathon, Megan, Kara, Katelynn, Jon Paul, Nina, and 4 great grandchildren; His sisters Madeline (Ed) Leberator and Faye Scaglione are also still living.

He is in preceded in death by his wife, Carol, sons Gregory, Chris, and daughter Therese (Mike) Rickards, as well as brothers Vincent, Louis, Anthony (known as Tex) and sister Sally.

A requiem Mass service will take place on March 14, 2024, at 7 a.m. at Incarnation Catholic Church, 1515 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804. Following the funeral mass, a small service will take place at 12 noon at the Chapel at Calvary Cemetery , 5233 118th Ave. N., Clearwater, FL 33760. For those attending the mass, please allow an extra 40 minutes due to very heavy traffic on I-4. Because the church was destroyed by a fire in 2023, the social hall has been converted to worship space. It’s the two-story building on the right side of the church. Please enter through the doors located at the center of the building from the sidewalk on Edgewater Drive.

In lieu of flowers, a donation for the re-building of the church would be appreciated. Envelopes will be available at the mass.  

1 comment:

Debra Fabrizio said...

No words could ever be enough to tell you how much you meant to all of us. I can't help but recall when I was a little girl how I waited for you each day on the front porch to arrive home from work at 3:45 in the afternoon! I would sit there praying to God to bring you home safely. He did just that and kept you around for 90 long years. How do I even begin to say all the beautiful ways in which you touched my life? All the times we sang together, and the gift of music that you instilled in my heart. It’s because of you that I found my love for music, performing, and teaching. The endless support that you gave to me is something I’ll never forget. You raised six children while Mom worked nights and weekends. You took such good care of us when we fell ill, and you sure knew how to fix all our scrapes and cuts with that red iodine. You managed to do all that after working long hours, and even made sure we attended all of our extracurricular activities. You taught us values and morals we rarely see today in the new generation. You instilled in all of us our Catholic faith, which I am forever grateful for. It is that faith that guides and sustains me, and gives me the strength I need to survive the tribulations of life. I know you endured so much pain watching your family depart, but that suffering was given for a reason only determined by God. You are home now, and one day we will all be together. Thank you for the years of laughter, singing, and music. Thank you for giving me my brothers, and sister, whom I love dearly! Thank you for always being there for me. Even when you were in the deepest pain, you never stopped asking me if I needed anything. You sacrificed everything for your family! Thank you for loving us unconditionally and for always being there for Megan, Kara, and Gianna. Thank you for making all those trips up north to support me by attending my musicals and those great times we shared together!! Thank you for never telling me to be quiet when I would sing in the shower or just about anywhere I could belt out a tune. Thank you for making me laugh even during your last few days on this earth. I am proud to call you my dad. Thank you for loving Gianna and for being such an important role model for her. She loved you dearly, and we will always keep your memory alive.

Save me a spot up there dad, so we can all sing together with the angels. For now, make sure everyone is singing on key until I can get there to help out. How beautiful it must be to celebrate and glorify our God every single day next to mom, Greg, Therese, Chris, and all the family and friends you love! Until we meet again, I love you, dad.

Your loving daughter, Debbie