William D. RizzardiOctober 15, 1942 ~ October 8, 2017 (age 74)
Rizzardi, William D. Passed away October 8, 2017, after spending 75 years sharing his big heart with his family and friends all over Long Island.
Born in Brooklyn to Marie and Pietro Rizzardi, “Bill” was the first in his family to attend college. His decision to take a course at CUNY learning to operate one of IBM’s first mainframe computers launched a 37-year career with Grumman Corporation. Wearing his grey slacks and blue blazer, he worked on the moon landing and the first flight of the Tomcat, eventually becoming Northrup Grumman’s Chief Information Officer. He participated in the rapid change of computing, from punch card to dot matrix to wireless internet. After his Bethpage career ended, he shared his talents with a variety of other Long Island companies and projects, including Perlucid, Twinlab, and the Cradle of Aviation Museum.
Food, wine and storytelling were the secret ingredients to Bill’s success. A trip to the restaurant was never a brief affair; from La Strada in Hauppauge to Citrico’s at Walt Disney World, Bill dined and closed the joint, laughing with the chefs who joined him at the evening’s end. New recipes came home to be enhanced in Bill’s kitchen and served at the next event. And Bill especially enjoyed cooking with wine – sometimes he even put it in the food. Yet his blue collar roots remained, and he was equally happy to cheer on his Yankees, Giants and Islanders while drinking a beer and munching on peanuts.
A long time member and congregational leader at St. James Lutheran Church, Bill was a devoted Christian. Above all else, he was devoted to his wife of 49 years, Eleanor Rizzardi, whom he cherished right to the end. He is survived by his brother Phil, his sons Keith and Glenn, and his daughters-in-law Suzie and Ann, who will continue sharing Bill’s stories and recipes with his seven grandchildren – Ava, Daniel, Grace, Lily, Matt, Noah, and Will – for many years to come.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 12, from 5-9 PM, at St James Funeral Home, 829 Middle Country Rd, St James, NY 11780, and a Memorial Service will be held on Friday October 13, at St. James Lutheran Church, 230 Second Avenue, St. James, NY 11780 at 11:00 AM. A reception to celebrate Bill’s life will follow at the church. Visitors are encouraged to share copies of their photos of Bill with the family. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Arthritis Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House, or to St. James Lutheran Church.