In Memoriam: Richard A. Grace

Dec 05, 2017 149

It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of Richard A. Grace, beloved friend and supporter of the Italian American community. Richard passed away on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at the young age of 73 after putting up a heroic fight with a terrible disease.

Richard or Richie as he was so often referred to by his friends was born and raised in The Bronx and later moved on to Westchester County. Richie loved saying he was from The Bronx, The Bronx that he knew in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He worked hard and played hard. He attended New York Military Academy where he learned to ride horses among other things.

After graduation, he went on to work with his father and became President of Grace Industries. They, together with their company, paved the highways and airports of New York. When 9/11 struck, he dug right in and was one of the first to arrive at the World Trade Center site with his crew and machines to help in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Richie loved to play roulette but for him it was not gambling. Like everything he did, he studied it and made a science out of playing. He wrote several books on the subject and had a winning system.

There was no Italian American cause he did not champion as Executive Secretary of the Coalition of Italo-American Associations. Whether it was fighting the negative stereotypes of Italian Americans in the media or championing the plight of Italian American professors at The City University of New York, he was there.

Richie attended retreat every year at the Passionist Mission in Jamaica, Queens and sponsored the Saturday night dinner which in no small way accounted for the huge turnout and success of the weekend.

There is a void in the world today, especially the Italian American community, which cannot be filled. Richard A. Grace left his mark on whatever he did, with passion, love and strength. He was a role model and friend to many and will be missed but never forgotten. Richard Grace will always be in our hearts.

Richard A. Grace is survived by his loving wife Barbara and his three children Richard, Jr., Dianna and Randi.

Mass of Christian Burial: Thursday, December 7, 11:00AM. St. Gregory The Great Church - 215 Halstead Avenue - Harrison, NY 10528.

The Italian American Museum extends its deepest condolences to the Grace family for their loss. May his soul rest in peace.

SOURCE: Italian American Museum

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