Gregory J. LoDolce
June 11, 1940 - June 20, 2022
Greece: Gregory went home to the Lord on June 20, 2022, at the age of 82. A devote and proud husband, father, grandfather, and Marine. Predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Ann LoDolce; brothers, Gus, Joseph and Bobby LoDolce. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Paulette (Saporito) LoDolce; daughters, Regina Collins, Lynn (Doug) Russell & Lisa (Rich) Secor; grandchildren, Philip, Timothy, Adrianna, Austin, Sara; 4 great-grandsons; siblings, Joann Amico, Rosalind Ognissanti, Deborah Bauer, Frank (Patty) LoDolce, Gary (Sandy) LoDolce; sister-in-law, Sandy LoDolce; dear family, MaryAnn (Joe) Refici, MaryAnn (Ron) Vroman and Alice (Bob) Hager; brothers-in-law, Michael (Kathy) Saporito, Carl (Brenda) Saporito, John (Nancy) Saporito & Anthony (Ellen) Saporito; many nieces & nephews.
Rusty's life story will be shared during his visitation from 10:00 am-1:00 pm on Friday, June 24th at the funeral home, 1411 Vintage Lane, followed by a celebration of his life with Rev. Anthony Mugavero to begin at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to St. Jude's Childrens Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105 in his memory.
Gregory's Life Story
On June 11, 1940 in New York City, Gregory LoDolce joined the world. He was greeted by parents Joseph and Ann. Joseph worked as a maintenance man and Ann was a full-time mother to the family's nine children. Greg's eight siblings included Gus LoDolce, Joanne Amico, Rosalind Ognissanti, Joey LoDolce, Bobby LoDolce, Debby Bauer, Franky LoDolce, and Gary LoDolce.
As Greg grew up, he earned his GED by going to night school and excelled at boxing (whether in the ring or in the high school parking lot on the way home). He went on to work in construction and at Kodak. Greg also served our country in the Marine Corps as a Private E1. Outside of work, Greg was a proud part of the Grease Paint Alley Organization, where he dressed up as a clown to visit children in the hospital and at birthday parties. This hobby earned Greg his trademark nickname of "Rusty" and he was known to memorably quip, "I'm Rusty the Clown, say it again I'll knock you down"!
On May 18, 1963, Greg married Paulette Saporito, his next-door neighbor. The couple had three children together, Regina Collins, Lynn Russell, and Lisa Secor. As a family, they went camping frequently and even journeyed cross country in their Chevy Citation. His children and grandchildren are his legacy and were the most important parts of Greg's life; he always tried hard to make it to all their school and extracurricular events. Greg loved animals, too. At one point, he even attempted a makeshift farm by bringing home stray pets (this was a short-lived endeavor, though, since Paulette didn't approve).
Greg enjoyed fishing (but never eating fish), reading books, watching John Wayne films, playing cards, woodworking, puzzles and singing to his CDs - Buddy Holley, Roy Orbison, and Skeeter Davis were his favorites. He enjoyed spending time with friends, too, specifically Alice and Bob. Alice had met Paulette at work and their friendship led to group vacations, going out to dinner together, and trying their luck at the casino.
After Greg's stroke, he lost the ability to walk. This was a great challenge for him. Even through this hardship, he remained the funny, lucky, loving, caring, and stubborn man his family knew and loved. As his wife put it, "He always cared and loved his family. We will miss him always but will keep him close in our hearts with all the wonderful memories we had in 59 years of marriage".