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Joseph S. Rizzo, bus driver for Buffalo schools and professional musician

July 19, 1934 – Feb. 9, 2016

Joseph S. Rizzo, who was a retired school bus driver with the Buffalo Board of Education and a professional musician, died Feb. 9 at his home in Orchard Park. He was 81.

Born in Buffalo, he served in the U.S. Air National Guard. Mr. Rizzo was first hired to drive a bus for the school district in 1967 and retired in 1996.

He was always musically inclined and started playing saxophone and clarinet under his father’s tutelage. By the time he was a teenager, he was playing professionally. He played in numerous swing bands, including with the Jades under band leader Joe Fanara.

Through the years, he played at many music halls, weddings and senior citizen events.

He was a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, the former Caroline Nicolosi; two sons, Joseph C. and Patrick J.; a sister, Lucy Latona; and his twin brother, Charles C.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday in St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 2950 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park.

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