The Society of Italian Americans would like to thank everyone who attended, volunteered and participated in the “All You Can Eat Pasta Dinner” and silent auction held on Sunday, May 22, 2011 to help the Punelli family.
Over $5,000 was raised to help this family in need. Lil’ Charlie Punelli was recently diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer, a disorder that occurs in approximately 1 out of 100,000 children.
This isn’t the first time that our club has done something to benefit the community and it surely won’t be the last. Look for more events in the near future to benefit other causes in our community.
Long time SIA member Dominic Natale Rizzuti, Sr. 90, passed away March 24, 2011. Dominic was born December 22, 1920, in Terravechia, Italy. He was the son of Luigi and Catherine Rizzuti. He immigrated to the United States in 1937. He graduated from St. Anthony’s grade school. June 1, 1952, he married the love of his life, Kay DeCarlo, and from their union 6 beautiful children were born.
In April of 1951, Dominic opened the doors of Artistic Ornamental Iron Works. Dominic and his brother Sam worked together for many years, providing handmade rails for Des Moines and surrounding area residents. In 1996 Dominic & Sam proudly represented the state of Iowa in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian’s Sesquicentennial Conference as well as Iowa’s Folklife Conference displaying their craft. This was a highlight for Dominic, known by his business colleagues and friends as the “Iron Man”. He retired in 2008, and the business today is proudly owned by his 3 sons.
Dominic is survived by his wife, Kay of 58 years. His children, Kathryn (Dave) Gimer, of Iowa Falls, Loretta Rizzuti of Des Moines, Louis (Jackie) of Norwalk, Dominic Jr. of Des Moines, Rocco (Melissa) of Panora and Regina(Keith) Honke of Atlantic, Ia. 16 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. His brother, Sam (June) Rizzuti of Des Moines. Nieces Linda (Mark) Hagen of Napierville, IL, Pam (Jeff) Baker of West Des Moines, Lisa (Robert) Eads of Richardson, TX and nephew Sam Rizzuti of Urbandale.
Dominic truly enjoyed his family, friends and work. He was devoted to the success of everyone and everything that entered his life. He loved having family dinners, picnics, watching his grandchildren during their dance recitals, and their many sports activities. Dominic loved to dance with his wife. Kay remembers just this morning that it was like dancing in a dream. Dominic loved traveling, which included cruises, trips to Italy and family vacations.
Dominic was a proud member of St. Anthony Catholic Church and the Society of Italian Americans which allowed Dominic to be active throughout his Italian-American community and hold his heritage close to his heart. Dominic told many stories of his years in Italy as a young boy and about immigrating to America. He was very proud of the obstacles that the Italian immigrants overcame while carving their American Dream: a family that loved and adored him, a business that defined him, and friends that respected him. When Dominic spoke, you could not help but listen to his strong proud American voice with its charismatic Italian accent.
A funeral mass will be held 10:30 a.m. Monday, March 28, 2011, at St. Anthony Catholic Church, with burial following at Glendale Cemetery. A visitation will be Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m., with a rosary at 6 p.m. at Hamilton’s Southtown Funeral Home, 5400 SW 9th Street, Des Moines.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. Anthony Catholic Church or Ramsey Village.