on December 7, 2013 - 8:23 PM
Jan. 7, 1932 – Dec. 1, 2013
Matthew C. Randazzo Jr., retired teacher, Korean War veteran and dedicated community volunteer, died unexpectedly last Sunday in his Town of Tonawanda home. He was 81.
Mr. Randazzo was a 1950 graduate of Grover Cleveland High School and studied at Canisius College before he was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. He rose to the rank of staff sergeant.
He later earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Buffalo State Teachers College, then a master’s degree in school administration from Canisius College.
After his first teaching post in Panama, N.Y., he joined the faculty of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District, at Hoover Junior High School, where he taught industrial arts until his retirement in the 1990s. He also served as junior high school football coach and taught night school.
Mr. Randazzo taught life skills to special-needs students at Hoover and was a driver education instructor at Kenmore West High School. He was a member of the New York State Teachers Association.
Mr. Randazzo was an antique clock collector and member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Inc. He also was an honorary life member of the Knights of Columbus Commandery 76 and a member of Harry Crosby Post 2472, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He was a 30-year member of Sheridan Drive Lions Club, a past president and treasurer. The Lions Club International honored him with the Chevron Award and Melvin Jones Award – the Lions highest award, for humanitarian service.
Mr. Randazzo was a dedicated volunteer with the American Diabetes Association and organized fundraising events for diabetic research.
A daughter, Carol Rosenthal, said her dad was “understated but generous,” and took pride in driving his restored 1930 Model A Ford in community parades, with his children aboard. The family enjoyed visiting Hershey, Pa., for the annual antique car show.
His wife of 56 years, the former Rachael C. Scarpello, died in September.
Survivors include another daughter, Diane Anglim; a son, Matthew J.; and a sister, Sarah J. Wetterhahn.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Friday in St. Amelia Catholic Church, Town of Tonawanda.