Cover photo for Whilma Beatrice Rizzo's Obituary
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1929 Whilma 2022

Whilma Beatrice Rizzo

August 25, 1929 — September 27, 2022

Whilma Beatrice Duca Rizzo passed peacefully on September 27, 2022, in Dayton, OH. Her memory will be cherished by her sister Juanita Duca Eleey and her daughter Anne Rizzo Fantini (Mike), daughter Cassie Rizzo Barlow (Tim), son Vincent Rizzo (Bonnie); grandchildren, Elizabeth, Michael and Anneliese Fantini, Emma Barlow, Lydia, Monica, and Gina Rizzo; and her many nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.


Whilma was born in North East, PA on August 25th, 1929 to Beatrice and Charles Duca and was raised in Buffalo NY. She attended Elementary School 58, East HS, and Kensington HS. She earned a Bachelors Degree from the University of Buffalo in Physical Education & Health in 1951 and a Masters Degree from the University of Buffalo in Heath Education in 1958.


Over the course of the next 40 years, Whilma touched the lives of thousands of children and their families throughout her teaching career. She served with a true passion for Catholic education and desired to build a strong faith foundation in all she served.


Whilma started the first of her dream teaching jobs at Pine Hill K-12 where she taught physical education and health until 1964. She met the man of her dreams (Vincent Rizzo) at Pine Hill, whom she married on June 30, 1962. They enjoyed the next 21 years together until his passing in 1983. They bought a home across from the University of Buffalo and attended St Joes Parish while their children attended St Joes Elementary School. She then worked as a Physical Education and Health teacher at St Joes from 1971-1974 and at St Leos from 1976-1995.


In 1976, Whilma and Vince bought an old farmhouse in Wheatfield, NY and spent many hours renovating the house. She quickly became a country girl and started to build her farm with an expansive garden and many animals.


She also enjoyed coaching many championship basketball, volleyball and track teams at her different schools. She officially retired from teaching in 1995, and then jumped right back in as a volunteer at St Mary’s of Swormville from 2001-2013 and St Luke in Dayton from 2014 – 2016.


In her retired years, Whilma loved to knit, crochet, take pictures, and travel the world to visit family and friends. She enjoyed seeing new places as well as creating photo albums after the visits. Whilma always had a camera in her hand and was masterful at capturing candid photos as well as pictures of the ground and sky when the camera had a mind of its own.


Whilma loved to bring together her family and friends and for many years hosted annual picnics at her farm. She loved to see new family members every year and to entertain the kids with flying kites, new farm equipment, and tree swings.

The family would like to offer our most sincere appreciation to our extended family at Brookdale of Beavercreek and Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton who took care of Mom like a member of the family.


On October 29th, there will be a gathering of family and friends at St Mary of Swormville, East Amherst NY from 10:30-11:30am and a Funeral Mass from 11:30am-12:30pm, followed by a lunch, 6919 Transit Rd Swormville, NY 14051.

On October 15th, at 5:00pm there will a Catholic Mass in Whilma’s honor at Our Lady Queen of Peace, at 6568 Chapel Lane Riverside OH 45431, followed by a dinner reception.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to 1) St Mary’s of Swormville to a scholarship in Whilma Rizzo’s name to help pay tuition for students in need (https://www.stmaryswormville.org/) – click on Online Giving and see Whilma Rizzo scholarship under Special Collections or 2) Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton (https://www.hospiceofdayton.org/donations/).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Whilma Beatrice Rizzo, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Catholic Mass in Honor of

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Starts at 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Family & Friends Gathering

Saturday, October 29, 2022

10:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

St. Mary's Church of Swormville

6919 Transit Rd., East Amherst, NY 14051

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Saturday, October 29, 2022

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

St. Mary's Church of Swormville

6919 Transit Rd., East Amherst, NY 14051

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Reception

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Starts at 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

St. Mary's Church of Swormville

6919 Transit Rd., East Amherst, NY 14051

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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