Arthur J. Ricci
March 1, 1928 – April 7, 2019
Arthur J. Ricci, 91, of Phoenix, Arizona passed away peacefully on April 7, 2019 with loved ones by his side. He was born on March 1, 1928 in Arnold, Pennsylvania to the late Mike and Rose (Mazza) Ricci. Art often spoke of the wonderful childhood he had, he was blessed with abundant friends and family. Much of his childhood was spent growing up in the many family businesses, the most notable being The Edna Hotel. Many fond memories were made at the hotel including the infamous “ledge walk” performed by Art and his siblings, Eleanor, Helen and Ray.
Hard work and dedication defined Art, but it was an invitation to a night out that changed Art’s life forever. His best friend, “Splinter”, convinced Art to attend a dance and there he met the love of his life, Frances Aloi. During their courtship, Art was called to serve in the U.S. Army. His service took him to Austria where he was stationed from 1950 to 1952 as part of the Allied occupation of Europe. During the two years Art was overseas, Frances managed Art’s business, Ricci’s Flower Shop. Art’s tour of duty ended, and they were married on November 29, 1952. Together they grew their flower shop into a thriving business providing beautiful arrangements for all the neighboring towns. They also welcomed two of their three children, Mark and Michael while in Pennsylvania.
By 1959, Art was restless, and his entrepreneurial spirit brought him and his young family to Phoenix, Arizona. He loved Phoenix for both the sunshine and the opportunities. After a quick stint with the postal service, Art began his real estate career. He worked for Income Consultants for many years as well as building and owning his own apartment complexes. They also welcomed their third child, Janis while in Phoenix.
Weekends at the Ricci’s were usually spent on projects. Art was a Jack of all trades including carpentry, plumbing, tiling, landscaping and painting, he did it all. There was always a job to be done and Art was the quiet leader who led the charge. Besides Art’s dedication to family and work, he quietly donated his most valuable asset, his time. Art was a member of St. Vincent de Paul for over thirty-five years. He spent countless hours shopping for and then delivering groceries to the needy of his parish.
But, by far, Art’s greatest joy in life was his grandchildren. His eyes would light up as each one walked into the room and he would shout out the special nickname he had assigned them years before. They would all find their way to him and spend some time with their “Pap Pap”. He was a wealth of wisdom and a walking historian. He will be deeply missed by all who loved him.
Art is survived by his wife Frances, three children Mark (Roxana), Michael and Janis (Brian) Blake, 10 grandchildren Nina, Christopher, Andrea, Michela, Ryan, Matthew, Dustin, Lucas, Julia & Jon and one great grandson who will be arriving in September. In addition to his parents, Art is preceded in death by three siblings, Helen Lombardo, Raymond and Eleanor Caruso.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held on Friday, April 26, 2019 at 4PM at West Resthaven Funeral Home, 6450 W. Northern Avenue, Glendale. Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Vincent de Paul.
West Resthaven Funeral Home