Richard P. Yozzo, Sr. age 67, of Utica, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday May 18, 2021 at his home with the love and support of his family.
He was born in Utica on March 2, 1954 a son of the late Fredrick J. and Elizabeth Orsaio Yozzo and was educated in local schools. He married the love of his life Petronella (Pennie) Rotach, and together they had three beautiful children.
Richard was employed with the Kelsey-Hayes Company and Orion Bus Industries for many years until his retirement.
Rich was a musician, but a different kind of musician. He taught himself how to play guitar as a very young boy; sitting on his bed, strumming away at his guitar strings for hours, days, weeks and years. He became a self-taught prodigy, able to reproduce complex guitar riffs after only hearing them once. Rich seldom needed to read music from notes and clefs. The foundation of his musical language was from what he heard or felt, he would then transfer that information from his mind to his fingertips, and his guitar would speak for him. To be able to complete such a feat was an enigma for most, but effortless for Rich. Those who knew Rich, particularly his family, have vivid memories of him at home, with his guitar strapped over his shoulder, manufacturing extraordinary tones and melodies. Exceptional talent isn’t always accompanied by famed recognition, it sometimes exists in little corners of the globe as a treasured secret. Rich was a clear example of that. Music was his passion, and he was profoundly good at it.
Rich played for several local area bands throughout his life but most notably the band; Breezin’. Breezin’ was a premier area party band, playing everything from private performances, from high-powered corporate parties to high profile politicians’ weddings. Though Rich excelled at any musical endeavor he undertook, his heart and soul was into rhythm and blues, the blues spoke to him and he spoke it back remarkably. Some of his inspirations were B.B. King, The Allman Brothers Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Joe Bonamassa.
Although Rich loved his music intently, family was of the utmost importance to him. His daughter Jodi was extremely proud of her father and thoroughly honored when he played his music at her wedding. His first-born son Richard Jr. loved his dad deeply, they fished together and shared meaningful talks and lessons. Joshua, the youngest, having inherited his dads love for music, spoke often about it with him, exchanging tips and knowledge. Harmonie and Shelly came along a little later, but this hadn’t any affect on the affection he had for them, he showered them with gifts and love. Harmonie loved her poppy infinitely.
Pennie was his life-long love of many years, they met each other in grade school where Richard would constantly chase her around the playground, all these years later, not much has changed. Amongst dabbling in the culinary arts, loving his NASCAR and New York Yankees, Rich also had a knack for humor and loved to make people laugh, he garnered joy in getting a giggle out of his friends and family.
Throughout Richards life it is worth noting, he never walked alone, for in his mother’s womb he shared, with his life-long best friend and identical twin brother; Ronnie Yozzo. The two spent an immense amount of time together in recent years and under the playful banter of profanities toward each other, was a love and bond unbreakable by time and death. They were each others crutch and confidant, they were each others shadow.
Everyone who knew Rich grew to love him, his beautiful smile was contagious and the lessons he taught and time he spent with those around him will be cherished forever. Rich’s immediate family wrote this narrative; broken, lost and shocked, changed forever. But we found ourselves compelled to acknowledge our belief in an author, and that one day, we will see our dads wonderful face again, hear his voice and hug him tight. We love you, Dad. See you again..
Richard is survived by his beloved wife Penny, his loving children; daughter Jodi and husband Raymond Tantillo Jr., son Richard P. Yozzo Jr. and Catherine Bianchi, son Josh Yozzo, daughter Harmonie Rotach-Yozzo and daughter Shelley Rotach-Yozzo; his beloved grandchildren Jiovanni, Jenaro and Rayme Tantillo; Kyler and Cora Yozzo, and Rowen and Jude Yozzo. His siblings; Joanne Czrew, Michael and Lorraine Yozzo, his twin brother Ronald Yozzo, Mark Yozzo and Marie Fraccola; his in-laws Fred Rotach, Buddy and JoAnne Rotach, Janet Rotach, Michael Didio, many nieces, nephews and countless friends, notably; Susie Alguire and Steve & Tracey Wargo. He was predeceased by his brother Fredrick and wife Cheryl (Rotach) Yozzo; one sister Marie Didio, mother-in-law Congetta Marine, sister-in-law MaryAnne Damuth, brother-in-law Jerry Rotach and Joe Czerw, niece Shelly Andrews and infant twin grand daughters Amina and Alora Yozzo
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Funeral Mass and Celebration of Life to be held on Saturday May 29th at 10:30AM in Our Lady of Lourdes Church.