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Enrico Grazia

ENRICO GRAZIA age 80, beloved husband of the late Gorizia ‘Cory’ (nee Carmosino); loving father of Alberto ‘Al’ (wife Sue), Eugenia ‘Gina’ Rensi (husband Chris), Deacon Giovanni ‘John’ (wife Sue), Mario (wife Julie), and Carla Dunbrook (husband Joey); devoted grandfather of Nikki (Doug) Weick, Mike, and Mario, Paul (Melissa) Deutsch, Mike (Becca) Rensi, Dani Rensi (Andrew Farmwald), Jenna Deutsch (Ben Quallich), and Cory Deutsch, Emily, Hannah, Mathew, and Joey Grazia, Alex, Allison, and Sami Grazia, Max and Maddy Dunbrook, treasured great-grandfather of Ben and Jacob; cherished son of the late Alberto and Eugenia (nee Morelli) Grazia; dearest brother of Desiderata Babbini (Antonio, deceased), and the late Franco (Maria Rosaria); treasured brother-in-law of Tony (Pina) Carmosino, and the late Eva (Michele) Pecoraro, and Lucietta (Rosauro, deceased) Gatti; devoted uncle and great-uncle of many.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Enrico to Hospice of the Western Reserve PO Box 72101, Cleveland, OH, 44192, or the Congregation of St. Joseph/St. Leonard Youth Retreat Center, 4076 Case Road, Avon, OH  44011.

Enrico “Rico” Grazia was born on August 19, 1939 in Castel di Sangro, Italy and after 80 incredible years, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on August 25, 2019.   He came to the United States at the age of 17 seeking greater opportunities.  Upon entering the United States, he immediately began to demonstrate his commitment to hard work and his dedication for building a better life.  Living in the Collinwood neighborhood for many years, he worked long hours and labor-intensive jobs, eventually gravitating to the grocery industry where his work ethic and opportunities continued to grow.  He was grateful for his first opportunity to enter the grocery business, afforded to him by Russo’s Stop-n-Shop, which ultimately led to a career at Heinen’s Grocery Stores.  While in Collinwood, he met a very special lady named Gorizia.  On April 8, 1961 at Holy Redeemer Church, he made this special lady his precious wife.  They soon started a family and lived above the T & R ice cream shop on Clarke Avenue, a shop that they co-owned with the DiIorio family.  Always working harder and seeking greater endeavors, Rico and Gorizia moved to North Olmsted, where they continued to raise their growing family.  After the kids were done with school, they settled in Chesterland.  During this time, he continued to work for Heinen’s Grocery Stores as the Director of Produce.  His role and his relationships with his colleagues at Heinen’s made him feel honored and grateful and they forged a reciprocal relationship of loyalty and respect that lasted for over 50 years.   Enrico was passionate about the numerous, organizations, clubs and activities in which he was involved.  He was a long-time devoted parishioner of St. Anselm Catholic Church in Chesterland, where he and his late wife Gorizia were committed to the growth of the parish.   Enrico cared for, and was deeply involved with, the Family of St. Leonard community in Avon.  He was traditional and proud of his heritage.  He belonged to many other organizations including the Home Family Club of Parma (Italian American Club).  To say that he was passionate for soccer would be an understatement.  He coached and managed several teams including the professional Cleveland Stars/Cobras and the semi-professional Inter-Italians.  Enrico was honored with induction into the Ohio Soccer Hall of Fame in 2009.   In his free time, Enrico enjoyed playing soccer and bocce and loved making his famous dried Italian sausage with his family.  He was a “foodie” before that term existed. With his red pocketknife always at the ready, he would cut and taste a slice of nectarine, sausage, apple, or kiwi while those around him anxiously awaited his expert critique.  He also enjoyed playing cards, especially Scopa, and probably in his yellow shirt.  Affectionately referred to as “Papa” by his family, he spent countless hours watching all of his grandkids play sports.  At these sporting events he was often willing to unselfishly assist, educate and enlighten the referees with alternative interpretations of their rulings!   Even at 80 years old, he never lost the connection with his inner child.  His humor, wit and playfulness were unique, priceless and beyond compare.  He was kind, self-less, and compassionate.  He was beyond generous, especially with his time.  “Papa” was always willing to teach and advise.  He did this not just by telling how to do it, but by demonstrating, through his actions, that it could be done.  He walked the walk of a true patriarch.  Above all else, family meant everything to him.  His motto was “God, Family, Respect” and although he could be flexible on other matters, he was unyielding when it came to this.  He lived his motto.  He cherished everyone being together Christmas Day and the annual family vacations, especially the trip to Italy in 2012.  He was faith-filled and prayed the rosary with his family.  His family and his faith provided the power for the infinite lights that radiated from him.   In 2002, on the threshold of his retirement, his precious wife died suddenly.  In the family’s darkest time, he produced yet another light, this one lit and passed to him from Gorizia.  He continued to cherish and honor her by constantly illuminating the family with her glow and providing an unwavering dedication to keeping every note in tune in the family symphony.  So, as Rico dances with Gorizia once again, to the symphony that they composed, may their children be their echo, and their grandchildren the echo of that echo, so that their songs will be sung forever.

Mass of Christian Burial Friday, September 6, 2019 at 11 AM at St. Anselm Catholic Church. Entombment following at Western Reserve Memorial Gardens. Family will receive friends to pay tribute to and celebrate the life of Enrico at THE DeJOHN FUNERAL HOME & CELEBRATIONS CENTER OF CHESTERLAND 12811 CHILLICOTHE ROAD (Rt. 306, just south of Mayfield Rd.) THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 5 from 1-8 PM.


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Condolence Messages

  1. Mary Jane Schroeder

    Al, Gina, John, Mario and Carla: I am so sorry for your tremendous loss. Your Dad was the greatest, but now he is at peace with Our Father in Heaven, and as John said reunited with your Mom dancing again❤️

  2. My deepest sympathy to you Emilyand your family in the passing of your cherished grandfather May you all find strength and peace during this time of great sorrow.

  3. My condolences to Mario and your family on the passing of your father, Rico. He was good man and I was fortunate to work with him for so many years. May eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. Rest in peace my friend.

  4. What an amazing tribute to such and amazing man. My heart, thoughts, prayers and love go out to everyone during this difficult time.

  5. Terry and Tracie Romp

    Mario/Al and family, thinking of you all. Wish I could be there…. A life well lived, what more could you ask for.

  6. I can tell you I am sorry for your loss. Bu talos i share with you the great memories of such a loving man. He remains for all of us an example of how the love of Christ can radiate in and through a person through everyday and action that Rico did. It is truly a blessing to know him.

  7. Le nostre più sentite condoglianze a tutti voi cugini per la perdita di Zio Enrico … … Non esistono parole per poter colmare un dolore e un vuoto così grande, ci dispiace tanto e vi siamo vicini …..un forte abbraccio a tutti

  8. My sincere condolences to all the family. As a friend of your uncle Mike Pecoraro I have met some of you. Your father was a special man and delight to have known. The obituary was beautifully done.

  9. I am so sorry for your loss of such a wonderful man. He was truly my mentor. Prayers to the whole family❤️

  10. I a so sorry for your loss of such a wonderful man. Rico holds a special place in my heart. Prayers for the whole family during this difficult time❤️

  11. What a beautiful tribute you have written for your dear Papa. I admired and respected him all the years he worked for Heinen’s. I will miss chatting with him in the store and seeing his wonderful smile. Sending peace and strength to all the family.
    Love and respect, Lorrie Grund

  12. He was a great man and a greater friend Rest In Peace buddy to all the Grazia family

  13. Rita Maji DeLisi

    He was a wonderful man, kind and gentle with a warm heart. It’s so hard to say goodbye. I hope– you find comfort amongst each other until you can enjoy the memories without pain. He is resting in peace . God Bless each of you

  14. Dale & Rita De Lisi

    What a very special man. Our heartfelt condolences to the Grazia family.

  15. So sorry for your loss. He was a Great guy. I worked with him many years at Heinens.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family. May he rest in peace.

  16. To the entire Grazia family,
    Thank you! Your father introduced my mother and father and for that we owe you the world. He was not only a mentor to me but a light to the whole world. He was truly special. I mean that form the bottom of my heart. He will be remembered and loved forever. We are truly sorry for your loss.
    Sal and the entire Russo family.

  17. John and Sue sorry to hear of your loss and may he live in your memories and keep that light that he shared with all of you. With our sympathies Barb and Ron Duggan

  18. John, Sue and Family – so very sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure to meet and speak with him a few times during soccer games and enjoyed our conversations. His obituary is such a lovely tribute. May the memories of his many good deeds and loving nature comfort you and all your family members at this time of sorry.

  19. Rico, Thanks So Much For All You Taught Me Working At Heinens And Through Life. You made Me A Better Person! You Were Tough As Nails And That Is What I Needed Through My Path At Heinens For 30 Years That I Worked With You!! Couldn’t Have Asked For A Better Boss!!

  20. May your family be surrounded by the Comforter at this time.
    With Great Empathy,

  21. Our prayers are with you Dear Friends!
    What a great Father!
    Chris & Chrissy Horsburgh

  22. Antonella Gentile

    Our thoughts and prayers are with wall of you at this sad moment in your lives.
    Antonio and Antonela Gentile.

  23. Like my father Olinto, Enrico was a big part of my soccer life, and I greatly appreciate what he did for myself and many others, our prayers go out to the family, molly and ted Busetto

  24. We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our prayers are with you. Tom and Nancy Joseph

  25. David Joseph Gordyan

    My dear GRAZIA FAMILY. I am so sorry for your loss. I worked with your dad for MANY years at Heinens. I always enjoyed his big smile. Rico was BLESSED with a GREAT FAMILY. You must continue without him, but HE WILL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU.

  26. Maria Palazzo Talarico

    To the Grazia family: my thoughts and prayers are with you
    Maria Palazzo Talarico

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