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Dick Comanzo

Obituary of Dick Comanzo

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Dick Comanzo passed away peacefully on November 29,2008, surrounded by friends and family. Throughout his courageous three year fight with brain cancer, Dick's spirit, optimism, love of friends and family and passion for living never ended. Dick was an exceptional human being who had a profoundly positive, lasting impact on everyone he met. He had an extraordinary capacity to bring the best out of those around him, and he used that gift every day of his life. This was never more evident than during his courageous battle with illness. He always strove to be independent and self-sufficient, while serving as an inspirational example of how one should face life's obstacles. Son of Ralph and Gail Comanzo of Niskayuna, NY, Dick was born on June 17, 1962. He excelled in scholastics and athletics, graduating from Niskayuna High School in 1980. Dick then earned a swimming and diving scholarship to Ithaca College. He competed in three NCAA diving championships and was selected to the Coaches All American Diving Team in 1 meter and 3 meter in 1983. Dick still holds the diving records at the Ithaca College pool. Dick's many achievements at Ithaca made him a poster boy, literally, for Ithaca's recruiting efforts. After graduating from Ithaca, Dick went to achieve noteworthy professional success working for Pillsbury and Coca Cola. His commitment to health and well being earned him a spot as a spokesman for the Power 90 fitness plan. He was featured prominently in their TV advertising. Dick loved to travel for work, with friends, or with family. He maintained a home in Miami Beach, Florida, as a relaxation getaway. He also enjoyed trips as far away as Australia, where he had many friends. However, nothing was more important to Dick than time with his beloved son, Dean, with whom he shared countless adventures. Dick was very involved in the Southeast Brain Tumor Association and their annual Race for Research, raising awareness and donations for the fight against brain cancer. While he could no longer run or walk in the race, he cheered his teammates from the sideliness. Dick's family cannot express in words their thanks for the compassion his friends rendered him in his last days. His care was administered by a community, including his best friend Shawn and many close friends; his caregivers, Melva and Cynthia; the great team at Coca Cola; and the physicians and staff at Duke University and Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. Those of us who knew Dick consider ourselves fortunate to remember him with joy. The twinkle in his eyes, his quick smile, his loving heart and his enduring spirit will lift us up forever. He is with us even now. Dick is survived by his son, Dean of Sewell, New Jersey; his parents, Ralph and Gail; his brother, Douglas (Amy) of Rochester, NY; his sisters, Diane (Michael) Jones of Newnan, Georgia, Amy Gail Comanzo of Altamont, NY; his grandmother, Ann M. Comanzo of Niskayuna, NY; his caregiver and best friend, Shawn Purcell; his nieces and nephews, Nicole, Matthew, Timmy Comanzo and Daniel and Katie Jones; and his uncles, aunts and cousins. A celebration of the remarkable life of Dick Comanzo will be held at 3 PM Friday, December 12, at the Rich Auditorium Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309. Dick's family appreciates your support and requests in lieu of memorials and/or flowers that donations are sent in honor of Dick Comanzo to The Musella Foundation, and the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation,
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