Submitted by his sons Richard and Michael Buongiorne
Our dad died doing what he enjoyed the most-being a fireman. In our eyes he died a hero. He shall always live in our hearts and we shall cherish the memories that we have of him always.
Submitted by his wife: Richard ‘Rick’ Buongierne was a kind gentle loving man. He spent most of his time working many hours at Delphi in Rochester‚ New York. He had very little time for fun or enjoyment. He planned on retiring young and having time to relax and enjoy himself.
He loved giving to his family and the unfortunate. He loved animals of all kinds. He would cry watching sad movies‚ a very sensitive man with a heart of gold. He loved shopping‚ picking out just the right present for everyone. No matter how tired he was he would play games with the grandchildren for hours. They would wait hours patiently for him to get home.
He always knew what to say to comfort the young or old. No problem was too small-he would listen quietly to hear them out. If a friend needed something‚ Rick would spend time yard saling on the way to work to find it for them. His house was always open for a place to go.
Rick had polio as a child. He always felt sad because he was rejected from the service. When a friend suggested he join the fire department he was very excited. He told him they always needed help. There were many things he could do despite his handicap. One of his grandsons was living with him was asked to join with him so they could bond more. Together they proudly went to the fire hall to ask if they could join. They were soon in training‚ loving it. From that moment on he spent every moment he could at the department. He loved going to the department to hang out and talk to his new brothers and sisters. He offered to do whatever needed to be done. He wanted to learn it all. No matter how tired when a call went out‚ he was there.
Rick’s last day he took off work so he could take his fireman’s physical. He never took time off work. He was so afraid he wouldn’t pass it. He spent a lovely day with his wife Betty-shopping- he loved shopping. He told his wife that he finally found something that made him happy. He felt like he was giving himself to help others. He had found peace with himself as a whole man. Shortly after arriving home‚ he was on his computer when his last call went off. He jumped up to respond. With a big smile he kissed Betty and said. ‘I’m off to help my town and friends.’ He held his family together with a smile‚ gentle touch and soft words. In 2000 he was awarded the ‘Most Fire Training Hours’ for Kendall Fire Department and ‘Fire Fighter of the Year 2000’ for Kendall‚ New York. Rick is greatly and sadly missed by all who loved him.