Francesca Rizza, age 101, of New Paltz died Thursday, November 29, 2018 at Woodland Pond surrounded by her family. She was born on July 30, 1917 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of the late Vito Ragona and Lilly (Gambino) Ragona. She was the wife of the late Angelo Rizza who predeceased her on February 7, 1994.
She was one who provided care for others throughout her life, including her husband Angelo, her younger siblings, her children and grandchildren, and her companion, the late Al Trentini. Francesca volunteered at Duzine School as a foster grandparent for twenty years. Grandma Rizza, as the young students called her, provided extra reading practice and support to first and second graders. Other work included making beautiful, custom made wedding gowns and women’s clothing. In the 1940s, she was a seamstress at The Tailored Woman on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Francesca is survived by her daughter, Connie Dodd and her husband, Steve, of Gardiner, NY; two sons: John Rizza and his wife, Donna, of Woodstock, NY; and Michael Rizza and his wife, Elizabeth, of Gardiner, NY; her grandchildren: Jessica Leak and her husband, Bill; Emily Svenson and her husband, Van; Eric Dodd and his wife, Emily Flynn; Christopher Rizza and his wife Nicole; Danielle Reynolds; Jeffrey and Thomas Rizza; and eleven great grandchildren: Mackenzie and Casey Boyan; Isaac and Flynn Svenson; Kaelan Leak; Tyler, Luca, and Gianna Rizza; Jaelyn Reynolds; Zoe Flynn Dodd; and Mya Rizza Samuel; her sister, Angela; nieces, nephews, and many friends. She was predeceased by her sister, Katie, and brothers, John and Dennis.
Visitation was held on Monday, December 3, 2018 from 3:00-7:00 pm at Copeland Funeral Home, 162 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday, December 4 at 10:00 am at St. Joseph’s Church, 34 South Chestnut Street, New Paltz, followed by a burial at New Paltz Rural Cemetery.
The family requests in lieu of flowers that memorial donations in Francesca’s memory be made to Hudson Valley Hospice, 400 Aaron Court, Kingston, NY 12401.
Copeland Funeral Home was honored to assist the family with the arrangements. Online condolences may be made to the family of Francesca by visiting www.copelandfhnp.com.