Obituary of Richard John DeGiorgis
February 6, 2017
Father Richard John DeGiorgis, born in Providence Rhode Island October 8, 1948, died January 12, 2017 at home in Grass Valley, California, surrounded by loved ones. Father Rich, a gifted athlete, writer, cartoonist, public speaker and advisor, recently fulfilled a lifelong dream to become a priest after many years of intense study and service in the church. Rich was ordained at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Nevada City on September 29, 2016. In his youth he wanted to play professional baseball and was drafted to a semi-pro team while still in school. Rich graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in San Francisco in 1967. Shortly after he enlisted in the US Air Force. After serving overseas during the Vietnam war he was honorably discharged in 1969. He was a true American patriot with a desire to continue traveling and experiencing other cultures. Rich attended Whittier College, where he played as a place-kicker for the Whittier Poets and earned a bachelor's degree in communications. He worked in LA and the Bay Area, and eventually moved to Cornwall, England, where he had many great adventures and traveled frequently to most European countries, Russia and Africa.
While living in Penzance and Newland on the Cornish coast, Rich wrote and worked odd jobs on professional fishing boats and for the National Trust at St. Michael's Mount. Rich always enjoyed U.S. football, so while in Cornwall he recruited, equipped and coached a very successful American Football team, the Mount's Bay Buccaneers. While visiting London he met and eventually married Jane and started the family he had always hoped for. He was a devoted father to his only son Michael. As much as he and Jane loved living in Cornwall, he knew he had to return to the States so that Michael could have greater opportunities than a little English fishing village could offer. In 1986 Rich returned to California and came to work for Nevada County Social Services, where he was employed for the next 20 years. Rich was one of the very first to be hired as an Employment and Training Counselor for the GAIN program. He taught Job Club for many years, helping countless numbers of Nevada County parents find and maintain employment. Rich also taught anger management and batterer's prevention classes for DVSAC and later working independently. He enjoyed most of all working with men and helping them cope effectively through difficult times. Rich DeGiorgis has been admired throughout this community for many years and will be sorely missed. He leaves behind his wife Paula; his son Michael; two stepdaughters, Danielle and Haley; a sister Barbara; a brother Tom; many beloved nieces and nephews and 3 young grandchildren. His family and friends will always remember him as a brilliant, loving and dependable man, and a truly inspired follower of Christ. Services to honor Fr. Richard DeGiorgis will be open to the community and will be held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, on the corner of Nevada and High streets on February 16, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. There will be a luncheon reception at the church immediately after the service. For more information, please contact Trinity Church at (530) 265-8836.
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