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Richard DeOrazio passed away on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Rich is survived by his loving family: wife, Patricia; daughters Diana (David) Hayden and Tina DeOrazio; grandchildren: Andrew, Victoria, Jacob and Joshua and great-grandchildren: Mila, Zoey, Hayden, Aurora, Peyton, Leo and Colton. He is also survived by Lianne, his “Aussie Brat”, and many friends, including Stuart Tuttle, Theodore Bassano and his special pen pal, Dorothy Henderson. His two best cats, DaVinci and Raphael, also survive. He was pre-deceased by his parents, Dominic and Filomena DeOrazio, his granddaughter, Nicole, and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Edward and Beverly Merrill.
Upon returning from service in the US Navy, which included the Cuban Missile Crisis, he worked as a draftsman for Singer Link, and was later the Executive Director of the local chapter of the March of Dimes. He ended his working career as CEO at SEPP, serving there for 20 years. After he retired, Rich did volunteer work for the Deposit Fire Department, the food distribution in Deposit, and worked as a shuttle driver for the McDonald’s Restaurants. Richard was an active member of the Rotary Club for many years and served as the student exchange program chairman. He was selected as District Governor in 1995.
Following retirement, he and Pat made annual visits to North Carolina where they made new friends and had a wonderful life together. Richard also enjoyed time spent in Boothbay Harbor, Maine which he and Pat visited annually for 40 years. They were fortunate to have been able to travel to half of the United States, including Hawaii, as well as Australia, Italy and France.
Rich was proud of his military service and, near the end of his life, he started a flag project. Richard carried lapel flags in his pocket and gave them away to anyone who asked about or thanked him for his service. He would remind those who received the special gifts that they should always remember the service members who had passed away, those who were left behind or those who are still serving our country. He brought tears to people as he said this and many would share heart-felt stories with him.
In his 2-1/2 year struggle with cancer, he met and became friends with many medical personnel, who became his heroes. On behalf of Richard, his family would like to thank all the doctors, physicians assistants, nurses and other staff at Broome Oncology and Wilson Hospital, and especially to Doctors Michael Aronis, Domingo Jimenez, Atif Saleem, and Madhuri Yalamanchili for their wonderful, compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Richard’s honor to the Transfiguration Monastery, 701 State Route 79, Windsor, NY 13865 or the United States Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004.
Due to the pandemic, the visiting hours at Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home are limited to family only. A funeral Mass will be held 10:00 am Friday at St. Mary’s Church, Kirkwood, New York. A link connecting you to video livestream of the Mass will be available in Richard’s online obituary at www.HEFUNERALHOME.com beginning at 9:40 am Friday.
A drive by parade of friends will occur in the church parking lot at 11:00 am Friday. You are invited to form a line in the church parking lot and when the Mass is over you may drive by the family to show your respect to Richard. Burial will be in the National Military Cemetery in Bath, NY. A public memorial celebration of Richard’s life is being planned for later this summer.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Joseph DeOrazio, please visit our floral store.