Enrico “Rico” T. Giardina, 95 of Pittsfield, MA passed away Saturday May 1, in the care and love of his family.
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He was born in Pittsfield, on April 23, 1926, to Matteo and Anna (Giovesanto) Giardina. He attended local schools, and graduated from Pittsfield High School with the class of 1944.
Rico was a veteran of World War II and served with the US Army in Europe in the Third Armored Division (SPEARHEAD). His experience as a tank driver qualified him to drive large vehicles, (paddy wagon) after his appointment to the Pittsfield Police Department in 1949. He served 25 years as a patrolman and later head of the Traffic and Safety Bureau, where he educated school children in bicycle and crosswalk safety. During this time he earned his associate Degree in Criminal Justice at Berkshire Community College. Following his retirement in 1974, he continued his father’s trade as a shoemaker, in establishing the Elm Street Shoe Service for 25 years.
Rico was a communicant of the former Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and was a member of its Holy Name Society. Faith and church were important to his life, never missing a 12th night festival and enjoying his role as one of the three kings. He was also a member of the Italian American Club: the Sons of Italy; VFW Post #448 and the Contino Post #75 Italian American War Veterans. Rico enjoyed traveling, dancing, golfing and playing bocce, where he was a member of the Mt Carmel Church Bocce League winning multiple tournaments. He was also a regular at the Monday night pitch league at DelGallo’s Restaurant where he insisted he wrote the book on the game. He was an enthusiastic fan of all Boston teams, but his heart belonged to the Red Sox.
He was predeceased by his wife Jean E. (Daly) Giardina, who died on March 3, 2020. They were married on Thanksgiving Day Nov. 25 1948. For 71 years Rico was a devoted husband who supported his wife in her educational career and cared for her during her lengthy illness.
Survivors include three daughters- Anne Gilewicz (John) of Dalton, MA; Kathleen Burke (Jack) of Berkeley, MA; and Laura Simeone (Lewis) of Pittsfield; and five sons- Thomas Giardina (Nancy) of Pittsfield; Daniel Giardina (Diane) of New Fairfield, CT; Richard Giardina (Deborah) of Ft. Wayne, IN; Peter Giardina (Julie) of Pittsfield; and Damian Giardina of Pittsfield. He also leaves twenty-two grandchildren; twenty great grandchildren; one brother- Francis Giardina of Pittsfield; a sister in law- Theresa Giardina of Pittsfield and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two brothers- Joseph Giardina and Arthur Giardina who died in infancy.
FUNERAL NOTICE: A Liturgy of Christian Burial for Rico Giardina will be celebrated on Saturday May 8, 2021 at 9:00 AM at St. Charles Church. Burial will follow in St. Joseph's Cemetery. Calling hours at FLYNN & DAGNOLI-BENCIVENGA FUNERAL HOME, 5 Elm St. Pittsfield, MA are Friday from 4-7 PM. Memorial donations may be made to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore MD 21297
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