GARFIELD, N.J. -- Charles Rigoglioso, 88, died Sunday, March 13, 2016 at his home.
A lifelong Garfield resident, he was born July 25, 1927, the son of the late Antonina (Benanti) and Vincent Rigoglioso, the oldest of seven children.
After graduation from high school in 1945, he joined the Merchant Marines. After serving in the Merchant Marine Academy for two years, he went to work for the U.S. Merchant Marines providing much needed supplies to the war-torn world. After his work with the Merchant Marines, he accepted a boxing scholarship from Syracuse University. At Syracuse, he became a national champion and a distinguished student by graduating from the prestigious School of Engineering.
He then worked for the U.S. Army as an electrical engineer. He then became supervisor and project manager for the Blackhawk and Apache, the premier gun ship of the U.S. Army. He was in charge of the automatic flight control and the Gyroscope, which tells the position of the aircraft. He became an expert in this field and his advice was sought from generals, colonels and foreign dignitaries.
In 1979, he was given the highest distinction by being recognized by President Jimmy Carter in a letter of commendation for his outstanding work in Avionics. He retired from the U.S. Army Department of Defense as supervisor for electronic engineering flight aids and navigation systems at Fort Monmouth.
He was inducted into the Garfield Academic and Athletic Hall of Fame. He was past president of the Garfield Board of Education and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
He was the husband of Marie Mustillo Rigoglioso; father of JoAnn, Domenic (Nancy), Vincent (Theresa), Camille, Charles (Barbara), Robert (Lisa), Joseph, David (Marija), Richard (Jessie) and Daniel (Deborah); grandfather of 30; brother of Vincent Rigolosi, Robert Rigolosi, Ronald Rigolosi, Rose Tartini, Rita Sciuto and the late Marie Lutz. He also is survived by many nieces and nephews.
Visitation is from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Friday at the Aloia Funeral Home, 180 Harrison Ave., Garfield. The funeral is at 8 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home followed by a 9 a.m. Mass at Our Lady of Mount Virgin RC Church, Garfield. Interment at St. Mary's Cemetery, Saddle Brook.
Memorial donations may be made to Our Lady of Mt. Virgin Church Rosary Society, 188 MacArthur Ave., Garfield, NJ 07026.