Maria Carmela Rizzo

Frankfort – Maria Carmela Rizzo, 93, of Frankfort, passed away peacefully on October 20, 2020 in her home with her family by her side.


She was born in Polizzi Generosa, Italy on April 2, 1927, the daughter of the late Giuseppe and Vincenza D'Amico Terranova and attended schools in Italy. She married Antonino Rizzo on April 29, 1949 in Scillato, Sicily. They enjoyed 72 years of marriage together, immigrating to America in 1968 with their family, to build a home in Frankfort, New York. Maria enjoyed being surrounded by her family and took great pride in being a mother and “Nonna”. She was the quintessential Italian mother. Cooking was a talent and passion of hers; you could always find her in the kitchen making delicious Italian food for her family to enjoy. Many of the foods coming from her home garden, courtesy of her beloved husband Antonino.  Her family will have fond memories of her herbal remedies she would employ to fix any ailments her children and grandchildren might have. Not only talented in the kitchen, Maria was also a seamstress, and was employed by Joseph and Feiss Inc. of Utica for many years until her retirement in 1983.

Maria is survived by her beloved husband, Antonino of Frankfort; two daughters, Stefana DiStefano of Frankfort and Vivian Stillitano and her husband Biago of Frankfort; two sons, Joseph Rizzo and his wife Lisa of Oxford, Massachusetts, and Carl Rizzo and his wife Lisa of Clinton; her beloved grandchildren, Antonio DiStefano of South Carolina, Josephine and her husband, Daniel Lighthall of Utica, Tanya and her husband, Scott Snyder of Barneveld, Alyssa Rizzo, Margaret Rizzo, and Anthony Rizzo of Oxford, MA, Anthony and Carlo “Tom”  Rizzo of Clinton; as well as three great-grandchildren; her siblings, Giuseppina and her husband Pietro Peri of Italy, Gandolfo Terranova of France, Mario Terranova and his wife, Rocchina of Italy, brother-in-law Giuseppe Mazzola of Italy, and many nieces, nephews and cousins in Italy. She was predeceased by her son in law, Natale DiStefano in 2014, her parents Vincenza and Giuseppe Terranova, sister Gesualda Mazzola, her in-laws Stefana and Antonino Rizzo, and her brother-in-law Steve and his wife Rose Rizzo.


Maria leaves a legacy behind her and will be missed deeply. Her family’s solace comes in the memories that have been made over her beautiful 93 years of life. While every minute without her will be difficult, as she was such an integral part of her family’s lives, they find comfort knowing she is now at peace. Her arrangements will be a celebration of the incredible life she lived and family she built with her husband, Antonino.


The family would like to extend their deepest thanks to Janell, Darlene, Jean and the rest of the staff at Elder Choice for the extraordinary care and compassion given to both Maria and Antonino in her final years. As well as all of the doctors and nurses that touched their lives during Maria’s illness, especially the staff of Dr. Le. Thank you to Jen for helping bring our Nonna home. Finally, thanks to Father Wally and nurse Melissa of Hospice and Palliative care Inc. who cared for Maria in her final days.


Her funeral will be held Friday morining, October 23, 2020 at 12:00 PM from the V.J. Iocovozzi Funeral Home, Inc. 203 Second Ave. Frankfort and at 1:00 PM from St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish, 648 Jay St. Utica where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Father James Cesta. Entombment will take place in Calvary Cemetery, Utica. Calling hours will be Friday morning from 9:30 AM-12:00 PM at the V.J. Iocovozzi Funeral Home, Inc. 203 Second Avenue, Frankfort.


Expressions of sympathy may be placed on Maria’s online memorial page by going to