Gisele Y. Rizzo (Gagnon) “Mammie”, 87, of Dedham, MA formerly of Westwood, passed peacefully May 3, 2023 at her home surrounded by her loving family and friends. Daughter of the late Dorilas and Diana (Talbot) Gagnon. Devoted wife of the late Francis A. Rizzo. Loving mother to her son Paul Rizzo and his wife Carla, daughter Michele Procaccini, and her husband Joel, and daughter Diane Crowley and her husband Mark.
Cherished grandmother of Christopher Crowley and his wife Lauren, Ryan Crowley and his wife Michelle, Andrea Crowley and her fiancé Christina, and Jillian Rizzo. Great grandmother to her “babies,” Hadley, Natalie, James, Matthew and Mackenzie. Gisele was also survived by loving cousins Jeannine Bienko and Denise Hornbecker as well as the many friends whose lives she touched.
Born in Lewiston, ME in 1936, Gisele was a woman years ahead of her time. Gisele’s values were shaped by her adopted parents, that instilled qualities of kindness, compassion, sacrifice and hard work. She embodied the true meaning of a “giver”, that she carried out throughout her life. Gisele was the first woman in her family to attend college, where she pursued a career in nursing.
Shortly after Gisele graduated from nursing school, she met Francis “Frank” Rizzo and they married in 1957. Frank and Gisele started their family in Roslindale, and eventually moved to Westwood to continue to raise their three children. It was not long before Gisele or Mom became “Mammie”. Mammie which was originally coined by her first grandchild Christopher, ended up evolving into a name that she would be universally recognized by all family and friends.
Mammie’s family was her life and her enduring source of joy. Mammie became a fixture in the Boston charitable giving community. Her family came to include the many lives she touched at the Italian Home For Children, where she dedicated so much of her time.
Gisele had a distinguished style, a true fashionista, who loved her accessories. As remarkable as her beauty on the outside was, her compassionate heart was what those fortunate enough to know her will remember most. She loved and respected all whom she met and left every person better for having known her.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend Visiting Hours in the Holden, Dunn and Lawler Funeral Home, 55 High Rock St., Westwood on Thursday May 11th from 4-8pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday morning May 12th at 10am in St. Margaret Mary Church, 845 High St., Westwood. Interment at New Westwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Gisele’s memory to Italian Home for Children at https://www.italianhome.org/give/