Rinaldo Fabrizio

Rinaldo “Ron” Fabrizio, a devout Catholic and loving family man with a gift for making others laugh, departed this life on Monday, March 4, at age 90.
Ron was born in Manhattan, New York, and grew up a huge fan of the New York Yankees and playing stick ball in the streets with his three brothers and other Italian boys. Asked one time who was the best at stick ball among the brothers, Ron said, “If I have to be honest, it was me.”

Ron was drafted by the Army and served for a time in Germany as a medical tech. He was discharged in 1957 and moved to Florida, reuniting with his brothers and living with them for a time. The brothers had fine singing voices, and a couple of them played instruments, so they enjoyed making music together.

Around the time of his Army discharge, Ron would occasionally show up to his older sister Sally’s hair appointment. The young hairdresser was named Carol, and she would become Ron’s wife of 61 years. They would raise six children and celebrate the arrival of eight grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

Ron and Carol settled in Pinellas Park and became mainstays at the Davis Fields ballfields, where all four of their boys were standout athletes. Ron was especially adept at teaching the kids baseball, and he would often hit his sons and their cousins fly balls in the Skyview Elementary School field behind their house.

The family were longtime parishioners at Sacred Heart Church in Pinellas Park and, later, at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Clearwater. After Carol’s passing in 2020, Ron remained very devout in his faith. He moved in with his son, Paul, and daughter-in-law, Lourdes (Lulu), and attended Incarnation Catholic Church in Orlando.

Ron was a jokester and a prankster – so much so that people he worked with long ago at the General Electric plant in Largo still talk about his antics today. He was famous for his unexpected animal impressions and his relentless teasing of anyone who was a little tight with the dollar bill. He was also known for his love of Notre Dame football and the great Italian quarterbacks in the NFL, although he tired of the politics in big-time sports and finally turned to the Golf Channel.

He always counted his blessings, but Ron experienced profound sadness in his later years, losing Carol and three of their six children. Ron’s three brothers and a sister also went before him, and they had all been especially close. He remained close with his remaining children, his grandchildren, and a niece, Amber Tidwell who visited frequently.

Two days before he died, great-granddaughter Gianna came to visit and he erupted with joy. Together with daughter Debra, Grandchild Kara, and sister Madeline, they laughed and sang and told stories until he fell asleep.

Ron is survived by sons Paul (Lourdes-Lulu) and Steven (Gina); daughter Debra; grandchildren Gregory Jr., Timothy, Johnathon, Megan, Kara, Katelynn, Jon Paul, Nina, and 4 great grandchildren; His sisters Madeline (Ed) Leberator and Faye Scaglione are also still living.

He is in preceded in death by his wife, Carol, sons Gregory, Chris, and daughter Therese (Mike) Rickards, as well as brothers Vincent, Louis, Anthony (known as Tex) and sister Sally.

A requiem Mass service will take place on March 14, 2024, at 7 a.m. at Incarnation Catholic Church, 1515 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804. Following the funeral mass, a small service will take place at 12 noon at the Chapel at Calvary Cemetery , 5233 118th Ave. N., Clearwater, FL 33760.

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