Salvatore Anthony Rizzo passed away peacefully in his sleep at his Santa Rosa home on January 4, 2023.

Born in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco on August 20, 1935, to Josephine Esther Rizzo (Alioto) and Frank Rizzo, Salvatore leaves behind Elizabeth Ann Meyer (ex-wife), Dorothy Moniz (partner), his children Michael Anthony Rizzo, Jefferey David Rizzo, and Christine Carol Rizzo-Murphy, as well as grandchildren Alex Anthony Rizzo, Mina Ann Rizzo, Carina Elizabeth Murphy, and Garrett Meyer Murphy. Sal is preceded by his parents and sister Virginia Stagnaro-Kern.

Sal is remembered by his larger-than-life personality. He was restless. He had a need to do things with new and old friends creating memories and stories that were shared for years to come. When not out with people, he could be found at home working on projects and tending to his very large garden which he would share with neighbors and friends.

Sal moved his family to Sebastopol, California in June 1976 where, although he continued to work for DiSalvo trucking, traded a life in the City for one in the Country. He was up for task and learned how to farm apples and raise chickens, rabbits, and sheep.

He loved food and never shied away from telling you his opinion of any restaurant. He also took many cooking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College and belonged to a mushroom hunting group for many years.

Sal was born with the disability of Club Feet. With special thanks for Shriners Hospital, he endured multiple operations and was in leg braces most of his early childhood. However, he was always a great athlete and playing high level baseball in San Francisco and handball at the South End Rowing Club. His disability experience taught him to be a fighter. He was tough and would back down from no one with a distain for bullies. There are many stories where he stood up to the bully defending the kid being bullied.

He loved sports, especially baseball and the San Francisco Giants remembering fondly the day the Giants moved from New York to San Francisco. Of course, he hated the Dodgers. Sal went to many Spring Training camps as well as several “fantasy camps” where he was always the oldest player in camp. He relished that.

When he liked what he was doing, Sal was a very hard worker. Working on the docks at Fisherman’s Wharf as a teenager, he settled in working as a Teamster driving a truck for DiSalvo Trucking delivering to businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. After “retirement” at age 65, he applied for a job as a deck hand on the Bodega Bay party boat The Aggressor.  Although one of the most physically demanding jobs, Sal was doing what he loved; fishing on the ocean and being with people. Sal’s last fishing trip was out of Bodega Bay with his son Michael and granddaughter Mina less than two weeks prior to his passing.

In honor of Sal, you can donate on his behalf to:

Shriners Hospital for Children

2425 Stockton Blvd

Sacramento, CA 95817

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday February 25, 2023, from 2:00 – 5:00 pm at:

The Saturday Afternoon Club

430 Tenth Street

Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Substantial food and drink will be provided so an RSVP is requested by email, text or phone to:

Michael Rizzo

916 803-0301

Tribute Wall

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7 replies
  1. Christine & Jeff Pemstein
    Christine & Jeff Pemstein says:

    Mike and family, we are so sorry to hear of your father’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!

  2. Shauna
    Shauna says:

    Sal, you were our family. Your absence is so profound. We miss you terribly. Thank you for bringing so many great times and craziness to our life. We love you.

  3. Glenn Arbasetti
    Glenn Arbasetti says:

    Sal and nickname Remo
    I will miss him dearly. He was a great friend, a workmate at Di Salvo for 14 years, and my fishing partner for many years of adventure We would go all the way to the Farallon Islands in his 14 foot boat salmon fishing many times He loved the sea just as I did and we had fun in it’s wonder and great fishing many many times. He was very unique and special. I have so so many fond memories and stories to remember. My deepest condolences and sorrows to Michael and Dorothy and the rest of his family and friends .

  4. Jeff Crouch
    Jeff Crouch says:

    I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working with Sal since 1999. He would invariably find a “reason” (excuse) to visit our office at least once a month. He and I would spend 3-5 minutes talking business and another 20-30 minutes on monkey business. The “monkey business” would typically begin something like this – “Did I ever tell you about………” at which point Sal would launch into some hilarious story of debauchery from his past. He would have me in stitches. I will truly miss his visits, his exhaustive repertoire of stories, his ever-smiling face and his laugher. He was one-of-a-kind whom I will miss dearly. I’m a better and happier person for having known you, Sal Rizzo.

  5. Lena Darcy
    Lena Darcy says:

    We are deeply saddened by Sal’s passing. We met Sal in 2009 while volunteering as ushers at the Luther Burbank Theatre, Sal came up to me and said you are Sicilian and we became great friends. We miss him so much and he’s left a hole in our hearts. I was always amazed at his energy and all he would do in a day. It was hard to keep up with him. He will be greatly missed by all.

  6. Eddy & Laurie Tenret
    Eddy & Laurie Tenret says:

    Sal will be missed by all who knew and loved him! He was such a character and fun-loving man! My heart goes out to his family and many friends! Til we meet again! 💕


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