On Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, on the eve of the Minnesota Vikings’ latest victory over the Green Bay Packers, Richard “Rico” Michael Giorgi, 70, of Virginia, Minn., died and was reunited with his late wife, Susan Twite Giorgi.
Rico was born Oct. 23, 1951, to Richard Vincent Giorgi and Ann Marie Giorgi, the first of six children. A dedicated Ranger, he graduated from Mountain Iron Senior High School in 1969. He then received his Bachelor of Science degree in education at the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1973.
Nothing gave Rico more joy than people. That’s why he succeeded in so many roles in his professional career, from Malton Electric to Grande Ace Hardware and Fastenal, and made friends wherever he went. His sense of community was shaped by his deep connection to his church, Gethsemane Lutheran. Over the years, he served on the Church Council and sang bass in the Joyful Noise! Choir. Rico took on a variety of other jobs too, from serving Lutefisk dinners to constructing an entire VeggieTales town and other attractions for the children of the congregation.
His talent as an artist and craftsman was apparent there and elsewhere. For many summers, he could be found in every parade around northern Minnesota. At town festivals and Fourth of July celebrations, he drove an old red pickup truck, decked out with hand-crafted displays in honor of the Lion King, Toy Story, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, and of course, his dearest Minnesota Vikings.
A loyal Vikings fan, Rico held season tickets for 35 years, spanning 3 stadiums and dozens of coaches. His love for his team was another tradition he enjoyed most when sharing it with others. He was there with family and dear friends to witness first-hand moments both tragic and triumphant, from the 1998 NFC Championship Game to the Minnesota Miracle.
He was also the number one fan of his two children, Elizabeth and Adam. A committed father, he never missed an opportunity to express his pride. He took every opportunity to facilitate fun experiences and quality time together, making his home a popular destination for kids all across the Iron Range.
Rico was a character whose joy and laughter will be missed by so many. He never hesitated to share a story or make a joke at his own expense. He was unfailingly kind and generous, always offering to give a ride or pick up the tab. His loud and gregarious tastes, apparent in his bright purple and gold outfits and his “RICO” license plate, belied the thoughtful, intellectually-curious man he was. He loved a great book and could hold his own in lofty discussions about all matters big and small.
He is survived by his son, Adam Giorgi of Minneapolis and Elizabeth Giorgi (Rory Sullivan) of Denver; siblings Anita Skenzich (Joe Ahlin) of Eveleth, Barbara Oberstar of St. Paul, Vincent Giorgi of Ohio, Charles Giorgi (Diane) of Forest Lake and Jon Giorgi of Lakeville; plus numerous nieces and nephews, as well as many other family members and dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Susan Twite Giorgi; and his parents, Richard and Ann Giorgi.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27, at Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran Church in Virginia. Pastor Amy Janssen will officiate. A Gathering time for family and friends will begin one hour prior to the service at the Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the University of Minnesota Foundation or the Mesabi Range College Foundation.
Family Services provided by Bauman-Cron, A Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia. To share condolences online, please see: www.baumanfuneralhome.com.