John Paul "Johnny" Ricciardi Sr. 82


John Ricciardi passed away on Wednesday, December 29, 2010. He was pre-deceased by his wife of 47 years, Helen (Celularo) Ricciardi. He is survived by his son, J.P. Ricciardi and his wife Diane, of West Boylston; his daughter, Mary (Ricciardi) Sivo and her husband Carl Sivo of Worcester, and his son, Worcester Firefighter, Stephan Ricciardi and his wife Wendy of Holden. He is also survived by his six grandchildren, Olivia, Dante, Mariessa, Mariano, Ava and Ellaina. He leaves his brothers, Pasquale and Joseph Ricciardi. He was also pre-deceased by his brother, Frank Ricciardi, and his sisters, Philomena Borgatti, Lucy Babowitch, Mary Gerolomo, Annie Perucci and Theresa Galli.

John was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Francis and Margaret (Bovenzi) Ricciardi. He lived in Worcester his entire life. He grew up on Belmont Hill and always maintained fond memories of his youth, of his family and friends, and of his childhood time spent at the Worcester Boys Club.

John was a Worcester Fire Department retiree, where he worked as an electrician, in signal maintenance, for 35 years. He also worked in the Athletic Department at Worcester Academy, which kept him close to his love of sports, for 50 years. John was proud to serve his country as a PFC in the United States Army during the Korean War.

An outstanding athlete at Worcester Boys Trade, Johnny was named three-time, "All City" in baseball and won multiple batting crowns as a varsity third baseman. He also excelled at basketball and was named "All City" twice. After graduating from Worcester Boys Trade, he won the batting crown in the Worcester Parks Community League and also was one of the youngest athletes to play with the Norton Abrasives, a semi-pro team that competed against several barnstorming major league players. He signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox in 1948. He played professional baseball in Canada with Fredericton, New Brunswick, in the Can-Am League. He also played for the Worcester Hawks, a professional fast-pitch softball team. Johnny was later inducted into both the Worcester Public Schools Hall of Fame and the Sons of Italy of Worcester Hall of Fame.

Johnny will always be remembered for his quick wit and love of baseball which he so proudly handed down to his children. He loved his friends and family unconditionally. He always had a smile, a kind word, and an amusing joke for all that he met! His wants in life were very simple: he enjoyed a good meal, a competitive round of golf, a well-played game of baseball. He will be missed dearly by his many friends and his loving family. He left this world a much better place.

His family extends a special "Thank You" to Dr. Kathleen O'Grady of the Fallon Clinic, for going above and beyond in her considerate care of John. John had a special place in his heart for the Worcester Boys and Girls Club, and his family asks that family and friends kindly consider making a contribution. Donations can be sent to: Worcester Boys and Girls Club, c/o Liz Hamilton, 65 Tainter Street, Worcester, MA 01610.

Friends and relatives are invited to visit with the family, Tuesday, January 4th from 3 pm to 8 pm in the MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL; 370 Plantation St. John's funeral will be held Wednesday morning January 5th from the funeral home with a Mass at 11:00 a.m in Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church, 24 Mulberry St. Burial next to his wife will follow in St. John Cemetery.