Mr. Bennie J. Rappa, age 92, passed away on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, in VA with the love and support of his family.
He was born in Utica on July 4, 1929, a son of the late Tito and Maria Peperati Rappa and was educated in local schools. He served our country in the US Navy from 1946-1949. On June 13, 1953, he was married to Antoinette Calaguiro in Mt. Carmel Church, a blessed union of 62 years until her passing on July 26, 2015.
Bennie was employed with the Utica City School District for many years until his retirement. Upon retirement Bennie tended to his garden, enjoyed woodworking, and loved spending time with friends and family. He was extremely talented and crafted many rocking horses for his grandchildren. His garden was always plentiful and he would grow his specialty garlic for his son Ben. Bennie's family was his pride and joy. He loved sharing family traditions, telling stories about his time in the Navy, celebrating birthdays, holidays, and the successes of his children, and grandchildren. He was the epitome of selflessness, and his legacy will live on through his loved ones. After the passing of his wife, Bennie relocated to be closer to his children, who loved and cared for him. Always in our hearts forever, and never to be forgotten.
Surviving are three sons and daughters-in-law, Paul and Ginny Rappa of VA., Mark Rappa (Brenda Baker) of VA., and Ben and Michele Rappa of SC.; his cherished grandchildren Dana, Danielle (Tommy), Jacquelyn (Tim), Marc, Matthew (Nicole) and Julianna; 10 dear great grandchildren; a brother and sister-in-law, Joseph and Arlene Rappa of NY; neices, Becky Rappa and Mary Catherine Spinelli, and cherished friends, Cathy Giruzzi, and Rose Bucciero. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Toni and beloved daughter Michele both in 2015; his sister, Francine Spinelli (April, 15, 2022), his niece, Jolene Rappa, and his dear friend, Tony Giruzzi.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 10:00 am in St. Anthony/St. Agnes Church, Utica. The family will receive visitors at the conclusion of mass in church. Private interment will be in New Forest Cemetery.