Nadine Joyce Rizzo, 85, passed away peacefully Tuesday morning, February 9, 2021, at Brian Center Nursing Care in Columbia, SC, where she was a resident for 9 years. She was predeceased in death by her father Todd Donley, her mother Alice Dudley Donley Payne, and her brother Richard “Dick” Donley.
Born October 8, 1935, in Pueblo, CO, she met and married Lt. Paul J. Rizzo in Japan in 1955, and soon began raising a family. She traveled extensively as a military wife before settling in Virginia.
She volunteered at hospitals, was a Cub Scout Den Mother, was involved in her church, and worked as a substitute teacher and nanny. Nadine enjoyed listening to music, reading, and had a real talent for sewing, crocheting, and painting. She had unique ways of making people smile or laugh. She was a selfless, quiet person who rarely asked for anything (except chocolate and cheese). Likewise, her family attributes their artistic abilities and much of their individual personalities to her.
By far, her greatest joy in life was raising her four children. And they turned out pretty OK.
Her chronic issues with mental illness made her life difficult and interesting at times. This later developed into dementia, along with a limited mobility that reduced her quality of life. Her caregivers were especially important to her during that time, as well during the ongoing COVID restriction on family visits.
She is survived by her sister LaNita Thorne (Rick) of Monument, CO, sister-in-law Dalene Donley of Pueblo West, CO, ex-husband Paul J. Rizzo of Hampton, VA, sister-in-law Beatrice Kochen (Ritchie Bouker) of New Port Richey, FL, children Victoria Vargas (Chuck Stay) of Salem, OR, Dug Rizzo (Teresa) of Irmo, SC, Kevin Rizzo (Becky) of Ocala, FL, and Andrea Rizzo (Steve Marsh) of Norfolk, VA, and grandchildren Angela Canepa, Michael Vargas, Rachel Schreiber, Sophie Rizzo, Sarah Grace Rogers, and Hoyt Marsh. She is also survived by one great-grandchild, Molina Canepa, and many nieces and nephews.
A service will be at 2:00pm Sunday, February 14, 2021 at Bryant-Grant Funeral Home Chapel, Franklin, NC. A private burial will follow. This was a former residence where Nadine previously lived with her companion dog, Angel.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Nadine’s memory: https://www.nami.org
Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Rizzo family. Online condolences can be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com
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