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John D. Richio

May 19, 2022

Obituary

John D. Richio, 61 of Standish, passed away on May 19, 2022, at Maine Medical Center; he was lovingly held by his wife, Holly, and their sons, Dante and Lucas.

John was born in Portland, Maine, to Joseph and Lucy (Collello) Richio on June 04, 1960. He graduated from Cheverus High School, Class of 1978. He married Holly Anderson on September 9, 1989. John worked as a driver for Wetterau Foods, later becoming the traffic controller under SuperValu.  When health issues prevented him from continuing, John found work at Spectrum and later as a shuttle driver for Ford.  His warmth, generosity of spirit, and easy conversation endeared him to every rider, and made them react in kind.  To all whose life he graced, John was “the nicest person in the neighborhood,” whether that neighborhood was located in Portland, summering at Ward’s Cove (Standish), vacationing in Aruba, or - at long last - living alongside his beloved Sebago Lake. 

A huge Giants fan when everyone else seemed to be a NE fan, John loved sports, so it was no wonder he coached his boys through school sports, even becoming the Athletic Director for St. Joseph’s Elementary school while his boys were in attendance.  His young players gravitated to his compassionate coaching.  He took care to hear them, to listen to them on the field, on a nearby skating pond, when they came to the house, or when they joined Dante or Lucas on vacations at the lake. He was proud when both Dante and Lucas graduated from his alma mater, Cheverus HS, supporting their baseball and football careers, respectively. Summer vacations at Ward’s Cove meant summer friends, Corn Hole Tournaments, passing the football, jokes, jet skis, and at the center was “Papa Rich” throwing more burgers on the grill. Some would linger a little longer at the grill just to get John’s perspective with a challenge or struggle they might be experiencing. The boys’ friends all felt like they, too, were one of John’s kids, loved for who they were. Time spent with “Papa Rich” was ever “a lesson in how to be a good friend, the way to become a great man… the way to love like a father.” 

John was a drummer; he had a passion for the drums.  To play for friends as the drummer of a neighborhood garage band delighted many, but he most of all. John shared his passion for playing with nephews, teaching young drumming aficionados the beat and percussion of Classic Rock music, which just may be the music of his life… “John, at the bar is a friend of mine, he gets me my drinks for free.  He’s quick with a joke or a light of your smoke, but there’s some place that he’d rather be…”  A bartender when he met Holly, John’s personality was a magnetic one.  Strangers who’d come in were simply friends he’d not yet met; all would leave his presence feeling like they’d just spoken with their best friend. He was that kind, that sweet a man, that easy a friend.

Though John would sit long with just about anyone, the only place he’d rather be was anywhere Holly was. Holly’s friends fast became John’s friends. No matter who showed up at his door with Holly, it was John’s hospitality that greeted one.   It was in the family kitchen, the heart of the home, where family and friends gathered to share John’s infamous meatballs and sauce, or perhaps he was throwing burgers on the grill. With every bite, folks felt the love and hospitality that became the standard in the Richio home. 

John worshiped Holly; he placed her on a pedestal, and there she has remained these 32 + years.  Believing she was capable of anything - everything, he put in her capable hands his trust, his best interest, his life, his heart. And it was her loving care that shore him up and gave him confidence and motivation to fight a lifetime of complex medical setbacks that persisted.  Despite all of them, he with Holly found the FUN that days and ordinary events presented.  Together, they build a life around a family of their creation.  Their shared goal was a happy life, a healthy life for themselves and their boys. Their shared vision was a future in which both boys, now both men in their own right, are strong and independent, and dearly loved by a family on whom they could also lean.  John loved his family and the time they spent together. Perhaps the happiest of moments, surrounded by his beautiful family, were those John spent with his grandson, Dominic. On the beach or climbing cumbersome stairs, just so he could read him a bedtime story, John delighted in Dominic. All things dinosaur, the best part of everyday was the nightly facetime with Dominic when “The Beast” (aka, “Jamps”) would come from the kitchen into the phone’s FaceTime frame with “Gigi” and roar like a T-rex. The joy and squeals escaping freely from a three-year old masked (or provided relief from) the ever-present pain his playfulness belied. The family has created many special memories like this one that they will hold onto and cherish forever. John was dearly loved, and he will be greatly missed.

John is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Joe Richio. John is survived by his wife, Holly, of 32 years; his son Dante (Scarlett) Richio of Windham, son Lucas (partner Andrea Shane) Richio of Portland, and John’s grandson, Dominic Richio of Windham; his sister Jeanne (Sam) Coughlin of Florida; brother Nick (Joanne) Richio of Portland; brother Donny (Nikki) Richio of Falmouth; sister Conchetta (Bob Qually) Richio of Chicago; and brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews and their families.

John’s family wishes to extend gratitude to the CICU Care Team at Maine Medical Center who truly worked as a team on John’s behalf. 

A Celebration of John’s life will be Saturday, May 28th from 10:00am - 1:00pm at A.T. Hutchins, 660 Brighton Avenue, Portland. Prayers will be said immediately following.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John D. Richio, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for John

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Services

Visitation
Saturday
May 28, 2022

10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
A.T. Hutchins Funeral home
660 Brighton Ave
Portland, Maine 04102

Prayer Service
Saturday
May 28, 2022

1:00 PM
A.T. Hutchins Funeral home
660 Brighton Ave
Portland, Maine 04102

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