Dante A. Rich, a lifelong resident of Rye, passed away peacefully on March 6, 2019 with his family by his side. He was 97.
Born on February 8, 1922, he was the fifth of six children of John B. and Brandoria Creadore Rich. He attended Milton School and was a 1940 graduate of Rye High School. Upon graduation he went to work in the family florist business of John B. Rich and Sons on Milton Road in Rye.
In November 1942, he joined the US Army Air Force and was a ball turret gunner on a B-17 bomber flying out of England. On the tenth mission, the plane was shot up and unable to return to England, and the pilot was told to try to make it to Switzerland where they landed in a field. He and other members of his crew were interned in Switzerland for six months. With the help of a friend he met in Switzerland, he escaped through the underground into Free France and was returned to the United States two days later.
After his service ended, he returned to the family business where he was vice president until the business was sold in 1988.
In 1948, he met the love of his life, Agnes (maiden name?). They were married on January 22, 1949 and settled in Rye two years later. With the help of his wife, Mr. Rich he was the proprietor of Moraio Bros. florists from 1964 until the business closed in 2004.
Dan and Agnes were world travelers who visited over 26 countries and made one trip around the globe.
An avid gardener to the end, he also enjoyed baking and spending time with his family and friends. Along with Agnes, he was a Penn State football fan who attended both home and road games. He was a member of the Rye Seniors and the Rye Men’s Club, as well as the American Legion Post 128.
In addition to his wife of 70 years, Mr. Rich is survived by his two daughters, Lauren of Stamford, Conn. and Janet Bayley and her husband Rick of Edgartown, Mass.; a grand dog Tess; as well as many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and -nephews.
He was predeceased by his brothers, Frank and John, and sisters, Concetta, Jennie, and Lucille.
A mass of Christian burial was held on March 11, followed by burial with Military honors at Greenwood Union Cemetery.