Richard Joseph “Rook” Garafalo, age 65, of Middletown, DE, passed away on Monday, February 6, 2023. Born in Middleboro, MA on May 4, 1957, he was the son of the late Nicholas and Mary (Starr) Garafalo. He is survived by his loving wife, Valerie; brother, Peter (Kathy); niece and nephew, Tricia and Nicholas (Melissa); great-niece, Emma; and uncle, Joseph Starr (Carol).
Rick earned his Associates Degree in Consumer Management from Daniel Webster College. He began his career working for Air New England at Logan Airport in Boston, MA on the ramp and loading bags. Rick loved the airport, planes and the transportation industry. In 1979 he started with Airborne Express in Boston, MA and went on to manage stations in Providence, RI and Buffalo, NY. In 1987 he took a position with DHL managing their station in White Plains, NY. In 1992 he went to work for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Pearl River, NY where Rick took on many different positions over the decades. These included Supply Chain Manager, Material Scheduler, International Logistics Technical Support, SAP Project Manager, Business Process Improvement and Logistics Support Manger. He also earned the business distinction of Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Rick began working for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in 2009 when Pfizer bought out Wyeth. The work Rick did over the years had him traveling to England, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Canada, Germany, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Argentina. He retired from Pfizer in 2016 and relocated from New York to Middletown, DE.
Rick loved football and for many years he was a Football Referee covering high school games throughout Westchester County, NY. Rick was fun loving and brought his bright smile everywhere. He loved his weekly card games, betting on football, playing golf with friends, picking winners at Delaware Park, his annual Vegas trip with his buddies, walking the neighborhood, going on adventure rides with his wife, and traveling. This past year Rick traveled to Italy celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary with his wife Valerie and their friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 am on Monday, February 13, 2023, at Sacred Heart Parish, 340 Centre Street, Middleborough, MA. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, 135 Wood Street, Middleborough, MA. In Lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Rick’s name may be sent to either the American Diabetes Association, by visiting their website at www.diabetes.org, or to The World Central Kitchen, by visiting their website at www.wck.org.
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American Diabetes Association
The World Central Kitchen