Enrico DiPaolo, 91, died on August 15, 2023. He was born on July 6, 1932, to deceased Italian immigrant parents, Vincenzo DiPaolo and Adelina Franciosi DiPaolo, and is preceded in death by his brother Antonio (Dip) DiPaolo, his sister Loretta D. Tretola, and his brother Domenico DiPaolo, who died in infancy. He is survived by his loving wife, Rose Childress DiPaolo of Richmond, VA; his son, Derek “Bubba” DiPaolo (Felicia) of Richmond, VA; and his estranged daughter, Cynthia D. Hassenpflug. He is also survived by his two grandsons, D. Hunter DiPaolo (Katherine) of Kenbridge, VA, and Parker R. DiPaolo of Washington, D.C., and his granddaughter, Lauren Schuppert Dunn of Richmond, VA, as well as his great-grandchildren Adelina Ann DiPaolo and Nico Dunnivant DiPaolo of Kenbridge, VA.
Rico was a native of and grew up in Olde Towne Historical District, Portsmouth, VA and a 1951 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, VA. He was a member of the old Portsmouth Boat Club, and as a teenager he built his own Penguin Class sailing dinghy and competed in many sailing regattas on the lower bay. His working career began in 1951 with the Seaboard Airline Railroad, now part of CSX, in Portsmouth, VA, and shortly thereafter in the Traffic Dept. of the Norfolk office. In 1958, he moved to Richmond, VA, when the railroad relocated. In 1967, the Seaboard merged with the Atlantic Coast Line RR, now part of CSX, and both home offices were relocated to Jacksonville, FL. Rico left the railroad and accepted a position in the former transportation division of the US General Accounting office in Washington, D.C. Shortly thereafter, he accepted a position at the Defense General Supply Center, Traffic Mgmt. Branch in Richmond, VA. Rico retired in 1993 after an outstanding career and was awarded the Distinguished Career Service Medal. He moved to Port Haywood, Mathews County, VA, and enjoyed the easy pace of rural life, fishing, crabbing, clamming, and boating. In 2003, he returned to Richmond, VA. Rico was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and canoeing. At age 75, he hiked a 9-mile round trip to the highest elevation point in Virginia, Mt. Rodgers, elevation 5729 feet in Grayson County. He served in the Eighth Army, 60th Ordinance Group during the Korean War. He was a member of American Legion Post 244, Glen Allen, VA, and the Massanutten Hunting Club of Elkton, VA.
Rico always rooted for the underdog and the downtrodden. He had a passionate love of all things nautical, and the sailing team in heaven is moving up a notch. Sail on!
Per his request, there will be no memorial service. His ashes will be privately scattered on an incoming tide at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Boys Town, 200 Flanagan Blvd., PO BOX 6000, Boys Town, NE 68010-9988, or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.