Cover photo for Americo "Rico" Bianchi's Obituary
Americo "Rico" Bianchi Profile Photo
1928 Americo "Rico" 2021

Americo "Rico" Bianchi

September 9, 1928 — February 13, 2021

Americo “Rico” Bianchi, 92, of Northville Township passed away February 13, 2021, surrounded by his children.

Rico was born in Cleveland, Ohio on September 9, 1928, to Francesco “Frank” and Angelina (Pasqualoni) Bianchi who came from the towns of Cese and Cappelelle sul Tavo, both located in the Abruzzo Region of Italy. He was given the name Americo as Frank and Angelina’s first child born in America. His older brother Anthony was born in Italy and two younger siblings, Vincent and Mary were born in the USA.

Rico graduated in 1946 from West Tech High School in Cleveland where he first met Joan Marrapese (class of 1948) and was a member of the Football Team. After graduation, Rico enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served from 1946-1949. Rico and Joan were married at St. Coleman Catholic Church on June 30, 1951, where Rico had spent many years as an altar server. Rico and Joan were married for 55 years and remained active alumni at West Tech and attended countless class reunions well into their later years.

Rico and Joan originally settled in Berea, Ohio where they began to raise their children Richard, Dawn, and Mark. They relocated to Plymouth, Michigan in 1964. Rico worked for Ford Motor Company as an employee for 39 years and returned for several more years as a consultant – primarily in the Engine Division. He worked as part of the legendary Ford Factory Racing Program of the 1960s and later was deeply involved with the outfitting of tooling for the Chihuahua Mexico Engine Plant and also traveled to Japan as part of the joint venture development with Mazda for the Ford Probe. Rico and Joan built new homes on Lakeside Drive in Northville Township in 1977, and then the Woods of Northville in 1994. They also had a second home in Fort Myers, Florida for nearly 20 years.

Rico and Joan loved to travel and made and maintained many friends along the way in Ohio, Michigan and Florida including the infamous “No Do It Gang” travel club as well a Card Club and a Dominoes Club. They traveled North America extensively and made trips to Europe, the Holy Land, South America, and Australia. Rico loved to cook and garden. The traditional Sunday dinners many only know as scenes from TV shows such as “The Sopranos” or “Blue Bloods” were part of the fabric of Rico’s home. Rico’s mantra was “Lafamilgia.” As part of the celebration of their Golden Wedding Anniversary, they shared with their children and grandchildren a trip to Disney World, followed by the Disney Cruise to the Bahamas. A cancer survivor since 1982, he steadfastly cared for “the love of his life” Joan while she battled ovarian cancer. After Joan’s passing, Rico planned additional family vacations on cruises to the Hawaiian Islands and St. Maarten.

Rico was proud of his family’s Italian heritage and being a Marine. He was a life-long active volunteer and was recognized by two different communities as “Citizen of the Year” – 1962 Berea, Ohio; and, 1973 Plymouth, Michigan. He served in United States Junior Chamber (also known as the Jaycees) as President, in Berea, Ohio & Plymouth, Michigan. He served as a camp volunteer with his children in the Girl Scouts and the YMCA Indian Guides and as Advisor and then Center Director with Junior Achievement. He was a founding member of St. Kenneth Catholic Church in Plymouth, Michigan where he served as a Lay Minister, Council Member and Chaired the planning committees for St Ken’s 40th Anniversary Party and Fr. Bill Pettit’s Retirement along with numerous bus trips. He served on the Board of Directors for the Woods of Northville Homeowners Association and as President. He was active for many years with the Italian America Club of Livonia where he served as Council Member, Vice President, Sergeant at Arms, Appreciation Picnic Chairperson, and Columbus Day Party Chairperson. He volunteered at the University of Michigan football program where he served as an Usher & Security Check at The Victors Club for 10 years. He volunteered at Angela Hospice's annual fundraising events including Tree of Life, as a starter for their golf outing, a greeter at the Black-tie Gala, and directing traffic at the Walk of Life. He also volunteered at St. Mary’s Hospital Emergency Room where he served as a greeter and patient transporter.

Rico was preceded in death by his wife Joan Bianchi; parents Frank & Angelina Bianchi; and brother Tony Bianchi. He is survived by children Rick (Phyllis) Bianchi; Dawn (Roger) Lang and Mark (Lisa) Bianchi. Grandchildren Gregory (Diane) Bianchi; Russell (Andrea) Lang; Raymond Lang; Candace Lang and Ava Bianchi. Sister Mary Ferrante (the late John Ferrante); brother Vince (Marcia) and Sister-In-Law Rose Marie Bianchi.

A life well-lived, we will carry you in our hearts forever.

Visitation will be held at St. Kenneth Catholic Church 14951 North Haggerty Road on Saturday, February 20th beginning at 11:00am until time of funeral mass at 12:00pm. Entombment will take place at Oakland Hills Memorial Gardens in Novi.

For those who cannot attend and wish to view the Funeral Service in a safe environment, the funeral service will be live streamed.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Kenneth Church

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Americo "Rico" Bianchi, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, February 20, 2021

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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