Life Story / Obituary
With a ready smile, warm hug, and infectious laugh, Richard Pinto lived a life rich in family and friends. Rich embraced every moment as a gift and lived each day to the fullest. Often the life of the party, Rich was a living example of how to live a wholehearted life. A devoted son, brother, husband, father, and friend, Rich’s enthusiasm for life inspired all who were blessed to know him. Though our days with him were far too few, the many ways he gifted us will long live in our hearts and lives.
1971 was a year of many exciting new possibilities; National Public Radio (NPR) broadcasted for the first time, Walt Disney World Resort opened in Florida, and the 26th amendment lowered the voting age to 18. Amtrak, Federal Express, and Greenpeace came into being in 1971, and with the invention of the Microprocessor, the year marked the start of the digital age we now know. Nowhere was there more hope for the future than in the home of Norman and Rosario Pinto, as they welcomed their son Rich to their family on August 20.
As a boy, Rich enjoyed a childhood rich in close relationships and lots of adventure. From his earliest days, he was rooted in close bonds with his mother, father, sister, brothers, and close family friends. Strong family traditions became the firm foundation upon which he built the rest of his life. He fondly recalled listening to his father play guitar, having family dinners (his mom making everyone eat everything off their plates), and his mom making everyone dress up for church every Sunday. Never one to be idle, Rich fell in love with the game of football. Even a game-time injury couldn’t keep him off the field. Instead, he refused to tell his dad, duct-taped his knee, and kept on playing.
It’s no surprise that Rich was always the life of the party. Even a teen, he naturally knew how to draw people together and ensure a good time. He and his sibling once threw an epic party while their parents were away on a cruise. They announced the event on the local radio and had to block off several neighborhood streets the party was so well attended. Though the celebration resulted in having to replace the liner of the pool after the party, the legendary good time was well worth the cost.
During his twenties, Rich moved to Florida, his brother, sister, and parents all lived nearby. At the age of 23, while at a local nightclub with mutual friends, Rich had the good fortune of meeting the love of his life, Belinda. It was love at first sight, and a year later, the happy couple married in Boca Raton. The following year they welcomed their first child, daughter Verona. When Verona was two, the family moved to Michigan. When Rich was 29, he and Belinda were blessed to welcome their son, Gianni, into their family.
Settling in Canton, Michigan, Rich and Belinda built a home that quickly became the center of many good times. A proud family man, Rich loved his wife and kids more than anything in the world. He strove to ensure their well being and would do anything for them. He constantly talked about them, always found ways to be involved, and enthusiastically cheered on all of their endeavors. Like his parents before him, Rich insisted on sharing mandatory family dinners, where the family shared the day’s trials and triumphs. His children were his heart’s delight, and he loved sharing their good company. Whether watching movies, listening to Verona play the piano and sing, watching her ride her horse, coaching Gianni in hockey, or dressing him up in a suit and taking him to “bring your kid to work day,” Rich beamed with pride and gratitude. He enjoyed talking with Gianni about cars and watches and volunteered as a Boy Scout troop leader for Gianni, and a conditioning coach for Verona’s Pompon team. He loved attending field trips for both kids, including his favorite trip to Space Camp in Alabama.
A naturally magnetic person, Rich always said, “the more, the merrier,” as he found creative ways to share time with his family, friends, and neighbors. He frequently hosted get-togethers and parties, enjoyed playing board and card games, going to dinner, watching movies, and hitting the golf course. He hosted many home barbecues and could easily sit by the fire with friends, sharing a few drinks, good conversation, and music, or dancing the night away. Rich was always up for a movie. He could watch the same movie over and over, and he especially liked superhero movies; his favorite character was Superman. He loved going to the theater with his family or close friends and eating Sno-Caps and a little bit of popcorn while immersing himself in a good movie.
Without a doubt, Rich was a family man. He loved Belinda and his kids dearly, and he was so proud of his kids and their accomplishments. He absolutely radiated with joy as Verona graduated high school, earned her Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, and landed her dream job. He was equally thrilled by Gianni graduating high school, playing AAA Hockey and Juniors, and choosing to go to college. Rich taught his kids many valuable lessons through his own fine example and also wanted them to learn from his mistakes. He embodied the values of family, friendship, hard work, perseverance, love, loyalty, and following one’s dreams. Rich relished in watching his children grow into wonderfully sweet, respectful, and caring adults, and he loved to hear compliments from other people of how great his kids were. Though Rich may have occasionally dreamed of winning the lottery so he could travel the world with Belinda and play golf everywhere, he was perfectly contented by the good fortune of spending every day in the comforts of her companionship and love.
Clearly, Rich’s unexpected departure has many wishing for another chance to raise a glass. May our hearts be comforted by the faith that he has successfully arrived in heaven with his mother by his side, where he is enjoying his Scotch and beer while reminiscing his past and looking over his family and friends with a brilliant smile and a grateful heart watching over us all.
Richard Pinto, Age 49 of Canton, MI. Beloved husband of Belinda for 24 years. Loving father of Verona Taylor-Jean Pinto and Gianni Richard Pinto. Dear son of Norman (the late Rosario), Jeanni (Robert Domeier) McAbee, and Philip McAbee. Grandson of Grandma Sarah McAbee. Brother of Grace (Jose) Santiago, Luis (Phyllis) Pinto, Marcelo Pinto. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Special friend John Badeen, BFFs the Kelleys, and dear friend Tom Brady.