Samuel G. Rizzo, 74 years, of West Bloomfield, formerly of Honeoye, died Thursday July 9, 2009 at the Veterans Hospital in Canandaigua. He was born in Geneva, NY June 29, 1935, the son of Joseph and Gladys Crawford Rizzo. A graduate of Geneva High School, he became involved while being a student there in the Geneva Apple Knockers Drum and Bugle Corp. This was a highly competitive marching band that competed all over the country.
After graduating from SUNY at Brockport in 1957, he taught at Bloomfield Central School for one year, during which time he was drafted into the Army, where he was trained as a Medic. He served his country for two years, being assigned to Army bases in both Texas and Alaska.
Upon discharge from the Army, he resumed his teaching career at Georgetown Central School, where he met and married, Gayle, his wife of 46 years. They eventually moved to Honeoye, where he continued his teaching career. Although he loved the community of Honeoye, knee problems played a major role in relocating to West Bloomfield and a home with fewer stairs.
Sam was a Physical Education, Health and Driver’s Ed teacher beginning in 1964. He coached football at Honeoye until the program was discontinued. He also was involved with coaching baseball and girls basketball. Many that were associated with him during his coaching and teaching career, both students and fellow teachers, will remember him for his easy going and dry sense of humor.
Sam received his Rabbit Judging license in 1959. This allowed him to judge anywhere, including all over the US, Canada and Bermuda. He judged the the first rabbit show ever held in Alaska. He enjoyed working with his rabbits and sharing his knowledge with youth to expand their knowledge and interest. He judged may 4H shows at which time the youth were able to gain more knowledge from him regarding rabbit breeding and showing.
He served as secretary of the American Breeder’s Association for many years, before becoming a director and serving in that position for many years. Sam was one of the founding fathers of the Finger Lakes Rabbit and Cavy Breeders Association, holding the positions of secretary, treasurer and president at various times over the years. He also was a member of the NYS Rabbit Breeders Association and served in many official capacities over the years.
Sam was also an avid fisherman, who enjoyed his yearly, family fishing trip to Canada for over 30 years. This trip was made with two other families and it became a competitive week of trying to catch the biggest bass, and the hold the trophy for the following year.
He was a member of the NY State Retired Teachers Association and the Hemlock-Honeoye American Legion Post.
Besides his wife Gayle, he is survived by his children, Debbie ( Chuck) Webb of Waterloo, and Linda (Ray) Johnston of Lima. 7 grandchildren, Andrew, Amanda, Nick, & Jake Webb. Tara & Vincent Gerringer and Adam Johnston. his brother, Glenn (Sandy) Rizzo of Swansboro, NC. several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Freinds may call Sunday 4-7 PM at the Kevin W. Doughtery Funeral Home, Inc. 8796 Briggs St. Honeoye. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated by the Rev. John H. Hayes, Monday July 13, 11 AM at St, Mary’s Church, Route 20A, Honeoye. Freinds wishing may make memorial contributions to the NY State Rabbit and Cavy Breeders Association, Youth Scholarship, c/o Deborah Vecchio. PO Box 33, Parish, NY 13131 or the Amercan Cancer Society. To send condolences or further information, please visit: www.doughertyfuneralhomes.com