GRAFTON - Ritchie Scott Caldieraro, 65, died suddenly at 8:30 a.m., Friday, June 7, 2019 at his residence.
He was born in Staunton on July 15, 1953, one of six children born to the late Arthur “Archie” and Betty (Puto) Caldieraro, and grew up in Staunton where he graduated with the class of 1971 from Staunton High School.
He was drafted to the United States Army in 1976, where he served as a Military Policeman, prior to his honorable discharge in 1979.
After his honorable discharge, Rich accepted a position as a patrolman for the City of Grafton, he was later appointed as the Chief of Police in 1980 to 1987. His and his families proudest moment came in 1983 when he was awarded the Silver Star for Bravery from the American Federation of Police for saving the life of Jersey County Sheriffs Department Officer, Larry S. Newingham Sr. during a routine police stop turned hostile. He would later go on to work as an Armed Security Guard for McDonnell Douglas from 1987 until 1998, while also serving as the Director of Operations for Raging Rivers Waterpark in Grafton from the parks opening in 1989 until 2001. In 2001, He accepted a position as the Vice President of Operations for Keller Construction until 2014, ultimately ending his working career as a Crane Operator at Olin Brass Corporation, retiring in June of 2018.
He married the former Gaye Hicks on August 6, 1982 in Grafton until her untimely death on June 3, 2000. He later married Lisa Newman on September 19, 2015 in Alton, after a 15 year relationship.
Outside of his professional career, Rich enjoyed a good golf game and had a passion for taking care of his slice of the land, whether it was gardening, landscaping or anything else for that matter, he enjoyed spending time outdoors. Perhaps his greatest joys in life came from the time he was able to spend with family, most especially his children and his grandchildren.
Surviving are his wife, Lisa Caldieraro of Grafton; six daughters and their spouses, Cathy Ferguson of Grafton; Kimberley and Gary Quigley of Alton; Alison and Josh Anson of Valdosta, GA; Amber and Zach Hay of Granite City; ReeAnna and Brian Cline of Rosewood Heights and Mariah Cottingham of Grafton; 8 grandchildren; two brothers and a sister in-law, John and Ruth Caldieraro of Staunton and Daniel Caldieraro of Litchfield; three sisters and their spouses, Laura and Mike Terrett of Portageville, MO; Mary and Tom Shoup of Clinton, TN and Christy Robins of Rockwood, TN; as well as thirteen nieces and nephews and a host of friends and extended family members.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Holly Ann Droit.
Per his wishes, cremation rights have been accorded and a memorial visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at the Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville.
In lieu of flowers or plants, memorials may be given to the family, in care of the funeral home.