Richard Dominic Piazza
July 10, 1932 – February 8, 2021
Richard “Dick” Piazza was born July 10, 1932 in Portland, Oregon to Anthony and Rose Piazza. Dick grew up in the “Little Italy” area of Southeast Portland and graduated from Washington High School. He was a talented baseball player, receiving many awards and local press in high school and semi-pro play. Dick attended Portland State University, served in the Korean War and in 1957 married his wife of 64 years, Elizabeth Porcelli. Together they raised a daughter, Tracy Vogeltanz (husband, Steve) and son, Richard, Jr. (wife, Erin). Dick spent most of his working career as a salesman for his Uncle’s lumber company, Builterials. He later worked for several years at Fabric Depot before retiring at age 69.
Dick was a man of simple pleasures whose immeasurable generosity, devotion to family and service to others are a lasting legacy. For more than 20 years he ran legendary benefit golf tournaments, dinner dances and crab feeds to help sustain operations for St. Stephen’s Catholic School with the help of his wife. He served as the school’s athletic director from 1976-1980. An avid sports enthusiast, Dick enjoyed standing golf games at Glendoveer Golf Course and Columbia Edgewater Country Club for many decades. Thursday nights were reserved for poker games with long-time friends and nail biting stakes! Dick was often last to leave the tables in order to help a friend recoup a night of hard losses.
Dick enjoyed many years coaching little league, refereeing high school and college basketball, digging razor clams at the Oregon coast and celebrating his children’s successes. Always someone to root for the underdog, his deep compassion for the vulnerable was a great source of inspiration to his daughter pursuing a career in counseling.
Dick was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in his 50’s yet remained working and engaged with sports and family activities far beyond anyone’s expectations, thanks to the dedicated caregiving of his wife. In later years his four grandchildren, Elizabeth McGunnigle (husband Daniel), Erin Vogeltanz, and Rachel and Richard “Evan” Piazza were some of his greatest sources of joy. Dick has been reunited in eternal life with his beloved grandparents, Cosima and Peter Pagano, parents, and brother Ron Piazza. The family wishes to acknowledge their deepest gratitude for his caregivers at Bolton Foster Care and Bristol Hospice. A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later time. The family requests remembrances to OHSU Parkinson Center of Oregon.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021