Official Obituary of

Phillip Rizzo, Jr.

October 24, 1946 ~ February 17, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Phillip Rizzo, Jr. Obituary

Phillip Rizzo, Jr., 77, husband of Nancy J. Rizzo, entered into eternal rest on Saturday, February 17, 2024 at his residence.

Phillip Rizzo, Jr. was unique in the most positive sense of the word. The things that drive most people, like wealth, fame or power held little value to him.  Phil valued people.  He could own a room, and not in the arrogant way of wanting to be the center of attention, but by genuinely being interested in the people he was interacting with.  When he traveled, whether on a busy street in San Francisco or a diner in some Midwest town, he inevitably ran into someone he knew.  But, as good as he was with people, he was a “secret squirrel.”  He wasn’t one for tooting his own horn.  If he happened to win a Nobel Peace prize, no one would ever know. 

Phil couldn’t carry a tune, but he could whistle with the best of them.  He loved blues and jazz, Buicks and running.  It was his thing to be the last runner to cross the starting line.  He knew he would never win the race, but he was able to pass a few runners along the way, and that was a sign of a successful race.  In one of his last races, he met a man with the same custom of starting last.  They had a friendly argument until they both agreed to walk across the starting line together. 

People who knew Phil loved him, and there was never any shortage of the use of the “L” word in describing how they felt about him.  And THAT is the sign of a life well lived.  When its’s all said and done, Phil Rizzo will be remembered as a good man-a good man who we may find out one day was the winner of a Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr. Rizzo was born on October 24, 1946, in New York, New York, a son of the late Phillip Rizzo, Sr. and Jean Chiapparone Rizzo. He held a B.S. degree in Business Administration (Marketing) from Florida State and earned an MBA from Florida Metropolitan University in Orlando. Mr. Rizzo was the Head of School at Robert E. Lee Academy in Bishopville for four years, Clarendon Hall in Summerton for six years, and most recently he was serving as the Head of School at Dorchester Academy for his second tenure and his eighth year with the Raider family. The SCISA (South Carolina Independent School Association) veteran served two terms as the SCISA Headmaster’s Association president, was the headmaster representative on several accreditation teams and worked effectively as a member of the SCISA Executive Committee. Mr. Rizzo also served as a member of the SCISA Athletic Committee and the SCISA Master Teacher Selection Team. His community involvement has been extensive as well, including two terms as president of the St. George Rotary Club. 

He was an active supporter of all military and police personnel. No matter where he was in the US, he always called any past student that was serving or had served in the military to thank them for their service on Veterans Day.

He was a leader, mentor, friend and inspiration to all who knew him.  His passion and compassion touched the lives of countless students, faculty, staff and their families.

He was predeceased by a brother, Charles Jerome Rizzo.

Surviving is his wife, Nancy Lloyd Rizzo, St. George; sons, Robert William (Dorothy) Rizzo, Summerville and Phillip Taylor Rizzo, Los Angeles, CA; daughter, Leanna (Jeremiah) Teuscher, Jacksonville, Fl; stepchildren, Zak Bartholomew, Seattle, WA and Zoe Bartholomew, Queens, NY; sister, Frances Rizzo Dunn, Ormond Beach, FL; grandchildren, Paris Thompson, Davidson Rizzo, Huxley Hayward and Gemma Teuscher; niece; Debra Walker and Pamela Brown; nephews, Brian Rizzo and Jason Rizzo.

A Memorial Service will be held 5:00 PM Wednesday, February 21, 2024, at Dorchester Academy, Shuler Gym, with Pastor Jamie Cribb officiating. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Dorchester Academy, 234 Academy Road, St. George, SC 29477 or Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries, 810 Maxwell Avenue, Greenwood, SC 29646.

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Memorial Service
February 21, 2024

5:00 PM
Dorchester Academy (Shuler Gymnasium, Academy Road, St. George)


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