Alfred Rizzardi

IRON RIVER – Alfred “Al” Rizzardi, 92, of Iron River, passed away Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, at the Iron River Care Center.

He was born May 12, 1921, in Caspian, son of the late Chester and Mary Rizzardi. He attended Caspian and Stambaugh schools, graduating from Stambaugh High School with the class of 1939.

He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, and was awarded the European, African, Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with one Silver Battle Star and one Bronze Battle Star, and four Overseas Service Bars.

He was employed as a miner by the MA Hanna Mining Co. for more than 30 years, working at the Homer-Wauseca Mine, and retiring from the Groveland Mine.

Al married the former Elizabeth Jonaus on May 10, 1947, and the couple made their home in Caspian. They celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in 1967. Elizabeth preceded him in death on Aug. 29, 1967. He raised his four children on his own after his wife’s death.

Al was a deeply religious man, committed to his Catholic faith. He was an active member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church of Caspian, and later St. Agnes Catholic Church of Iron River, serving as reader and lector. He was also a member of Golden K, the Bocce League, where he served as president from 1993-2009, and former member of the original Duke of Abruzzi Lodge.

Al was an avid sports fan and enjoyed walking. He was employed at the Jacobs Funeral Home of Iron River from July 1988 to December 2005.

Al married the former Fern Brown Sleeman on Jan. 16, 1988, and the couple made their home in Iron River. They celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary this year.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Albert and Louis; and sisters, Alice Selmo, Irene Tarsi and Erma Anderson.

Al is survived by his wife, Fern; sons, Larry (Lynn) Rizzardi of Woodbury, Minn., Don (Janelle) Rizzardi of Woodbury, Duane (JoAnn) Sleeman of Iron River, and Alan (Patty) Sleeman of Pinckney; daughters, Mary Rizzardi of Woodbury, Teresa (Monica) Rizzardi of St. Paul, Minn., and Patti (Jeff) Sabotta of Iron River; grandchildren Scott, Todd (Bonnie), Gina (Zak) Vogelsberg, Lisa (Tim) Picha, Tony (Kim), Nick (Bri), Joe, Ben, Matt, Michele (Dave) Coates, Jillene Sabotta, Jack and Carlie Sleeman; great-grandchildren, Ty Coates, Emma Sabotta, Jackson Vogelsberg, and Robbie; and nieces, nephews and extended family.

Visitation will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the Jacobs Funeral Home of Iron River.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Catholic Church of Iron River, with Rev. Gregory Veneklase, pastor, to offer the Mass of Christian Burial. The West Side Veterans will accord military rites following the funeral service.

Interment will be in Stambaugh Cemetery in the spring.

Condolences may be expressed to the family of Alfred “Al” Rizzardi online at

Funeral arrangements by the Jacobs Funeral Home of Iron River.