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Francesco Pietro Riggio

June 30, 1926 - April 7, 2017

U.S. Veteran

Loving Husband, Father, and Grandfather


Service Date: April 10, 2017

In Lieu of Flowers: In lieu of flowers please make donations in his memory to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital P.O. Box 1000 Dept. 300 Memphis, TN 38148.

Obituaries » Francesco Pietro Riggio

Francesco (Frank) Pietro Riggio, 90, passed away on 7 April 2017 from natural causes. He was peacefully resting in hospice at Morristown Memorial Hospital when he passed.

Francesco’s family called him Chick or PopPop, and his friends knew him as Frank. He was born and raised in Newark, NJ. He went to East Side High School in the Ironbound section of Newark, before leaving for the U.S. Army where he served during World War II. He served first in the United States before deploying to Germany and France as part of a tank battalion. He sustained an severe injury when a tank hatch cover fell on his right hand in preparation for a parade. Despite that injury which caused him some discomfort and stiffness he went on to become a carpenter, eventually joining the Newark Housing Authority where he remained before retiring as a Superintendent of Construction for Special Projects. After he retired from the Newark Housing Authority he moved to Parsippany, NJ where he lived until his passing.

Beloved son of Guiseppe and Santa Riggio, who emigrated from Sicily to the United States in the early 1900s, Franceco is survived by his loving wife Assunta, known as Susie or Sue to her family and friends, his two sons, Joseph and Louis, his daughter-in-law Ingrid, and his four grandchildren, Jason, Gabriella, Michaela and Francesca, and was preceded by his daughter-in-law Nancy. Although his older sister Rosaria had passed before him, his two younger brothers Antonio and Vincenzo survive him. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Nicola as well as his sisters-in-law Conchetta and Roberta. As their beloved Uncle Chick he is also remembered by many loving nieces and nephews, as well as his friends and friends of the family.

Francesco was a proud and vital man that loved being with his family and friends. Regardless whether it was day or night you could always count on Francesco, because of his many wonderful qualities his loyalty to those he loved was unsurpassed. He was the guy with a gifted mind, and in some ways even more gifted hands, who could “fix anything” and would pitch in before he was asked to help out anyone. As he grew older he grew more deeply spiritual and when he was no longer able to serve others by showing up physically and lending a hand, he would spend time each morning praying for them without fail.

In his day he was an avid card player, who loved to play poker, pinochle or cribbage, and he knew dozens of ways to play solitaire if he found himself alone with a deck of cards and some time to spare. His joy at being with the people he loved however was most noticeable when he was celebrating with them for any reason or just no particular reason at all. He rejoiced in having his family around him at anytime, and would sparkle when they joined him for a meal, of which he would almost always heartily partake and relish in with them after insisting on someone saying grace at the table.

Whether you knew him as Francesco … Chick … or Frank … he was known for having an open and loving way about him, always ready to be there for those he cared about. Although at times a flash of a quick temper could be seen in his stormy blue eyes passing just as quickly as it had come, most of the time it was even easier bring a twinkle to those blue eyes and smile to his face. Maybe most of all anyone who met him will remember his singing out anywhere and often, and those who knew him best will also remember hearing him whistling as he worked regardless of the length or difficulty of the task. His twinkling eyes and smile, beautiful singing voice and gruff loving way will all be sorely missed by those that remain to carry the memories of the man he was within … the image of a long life, well lived, deeply impressed on those he leaves behind.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Liturgy of Christian Burial to be offered on Monday, April 10, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Christopher’s R.C. Church, 1050 Littleton Rd., Parsippany. Cremation: Private. Visiting hours will be on Sunday, April 9, 2017 from 4-7 p.m. at the funeral home. Flowers will be welcome and in lieu of flowers donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital P.O. Box 1000 Dept. 300 Memphis, TN 38148 may be made in his name as a memorial.