Obituary: Richard T. Mazza, 1939-2024 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Richard T. Mazza, 1939-2024 

Lifelong Colchester resident and owner of Dick Mazza’s General Store served 41 years in the Vermont legislature with integrity and collegiality

Published May 27, 2024 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated May 27, 2024 at 9:52 a.m.

click to enlarge Richard T. Mazza - COURTESY
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  • Richard T. Mazza

Our community sadly lost a pillar on May 25, 2024, when Richard T. Mazza passed away from pancreatic cancer, with his family by his side.

The youngest of five boys, born at home on September 4, 1939, to Joseph and Mary Mazza, Dick or Richie to all who knew him was an open-minded, generous, loyal, trustworthy and loving man.

A lifelong resident of Colchester and graduate of Winooski High School, first and foremost, Dick was devoted to his family and cherished every moment spent together, making them his top priority. He especially loved his role as a grandfather and great-grandfather.

He was the owner of Dick Mazza’s General Store, starting alongside his father 70 years ago this month and proudly operating the store since. It is only fitting that Dick passed away on the sixth anniversary of Gov. Phil Scott’s 2019 proclamation deeming May 25, 2019, “Dick Mazza’s General Store Day.”

With considerable pride, Dick spent 41 years serving in the Vermont legislature and held various positions within the Statehouse throughout those years, including dean of the Senate, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation, vice chair of Senate Committee on Institutions and the third member of the Committee on Committees. Dick was often referred to as the best dressed in the Statehouse, wearing his trademark loud, colorful ties with a matching pocket scarf and a carnation on his lapel. He was known for being a relentless champion for his constituents, serving with integrity and collegiality.

Dick’s public service extended to his community involvement throughout his lifetime, including board membership at the Champlain Valley Exposition, Vermont Nurses’ Association, Colchester Senior Citizens Housing Project, Fanny Allen Hospital, Friends of the Burnham Memorial Library and others. He received many awards as well, including Vermont Grocer of the Year, Citizen of the Year and countless others.

His lifelong philanthropic giving to the Town of Colchester, where he spent his life, was honored recently by naming the road to the new Colchester Recreation Center as “Dick Mazza Drive.”

Cars — especially corvettes — Farmall tractors and Coca-Cola memorabilia round out Dick’s passions.

All who loved Dick dearly will never forget how he led by example. Whether it was through his friendships, contributions, work ethic or devotion to public service, he gave with kindness, enthusiasm and respect. His legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of everyone Dick interacted with, as well as those he reached yet never met.

To honor Dick’s memory, please treat everyone with compassion and be of service to others and grateful for the day’s blessings.

Dick is survived by his loyal wife of 58 years, Dorothy “Dolly” Mazza; two faithful children, Mike Mazza (Lynn) and Melissa Mazza-Paquette (David Paquette); his adoring grandchildren, Erik Mazza (Emily) and MacKenzie Mazza (Blaze Vogliano); sweet great-granddaughters, Charlotte and Caroline; and older brother John Mazza Sr. He is predeceased by his parents and three brothers, Frank, Robert and Joseph. Dick also leaves behind countless friends and family, who touched his heart immensely.

A funeral service will be on Thursday, May 30, 2024, 11 a.m., at Holy Cross Church in Colchester, immediately followed by a celebration of life reception in the Miller Building at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction. As Dick loved color, his favorite being purple, we invite those joining to come dressed colorfully.

Due to family floral allergies, please do not send flowers. For those wishing to do so, memorial contributions in Dick’s name may be made instead to Colchester Rescue, 687 Blakely Rd., Colchester, VT 05446, or to the McClure Miller Respite House via the Jiggety Jog team “Legacy of Love” fundraiser at give.uvmhealth.org/team/583766. Arrangements are in the care of LaVigne Funeral Home and Cremation Service. To send online condolences to his family, please visit vtfuneralhomes.com.

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