Richard Joseph Citrini passed away on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 after a relatively brief illness with cancer. Born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1932 to Anthony Miro Citrini and Joachima Helen Citrini, Richard moved with his parents to Durham, NC in 1934 when his father Tony was hired as one of several Italian stonemasons to build Duke Chapel and many other gothic architecture buildings on Duke University’s campus. Richard took much pride in recounting how he and his brother Robert helped his father and uncles with basic construction jobs on sites such as the Morehead Planatarium in Chapel Hill and the VA Hospital in Durham, among others.
Richard graduated from Durham High School in 1950, and he enjoyed being on the Bulldog’s golf team. Richard continued his interest in golf through the years, and he sometimes joked that his dreams of playing on the Senior Tour were thwarted by his inconsistent putting stroke. Richard very much enjoyed the many friendships he formed through the years with his golfing partners at Croasdaile and other courses in the Triangle area.
Richard graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1954, and he loved all things Carolina. He enjoyed some good-natured ribing from Duke friends and family over the rivalry, and though he was not technically ‘Tarheel born,’ he was ‘Tarheel bred,” and it was “rah, rah, Carolina” all the way.
Richard graduated from the Louisville School of Dentistry in 1958, and he enjoyed 38 years of dental practice. Richard spoke fondly of the strong relationships he formed with his patients and staff, and he often went by Jim Pyle’s current practice to speak with Jim, current staff, and former patients. Richard also loved the creative aspect of Dentistry, and he took much pleasure when a patient recounted how their crown or bridge still fits ‘just right’ – sometimes even 40 years later. Richard always felt a special connection with his office building itself, as his father and his team helped to construct it and place brick on it.
Richard was married 53 years to Sally Porter Citrini, and they were blessed with four children, three son-in-laws, and nine grandchildren. Richard was extremely proud of his children’s academic and personal accomplishments, and he found much joy in the talents, dreams, and goals of his nine grandchildren as well.
One of Richard’s biggest legacies was the way he took care of his brother Robert for 27 years – after their father’s passing in 1982. Richard’s gifts for detail and great love for his brother who had a mental disability modeled for all family members how to be of service to others. Jesus’ quote, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto Me” was a quote Richard quietly followed daily in his words and actions.
Richard was very active in civic and church groups. He was a member for 30 years of the Durham Kiwanis Club and was president of the club from 1982-1983. Richard was also a member of the Durham Rotary Club and served on its Board of Directors for a time. Richard enjoyed membership in the Durham/Orange Dental Society, the American Dental Association, and was co-founder of one of Durham’s current Dental Study clubs. A life-long member and supporter of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Richard enjoyed the relationships he formed within the Knights of Columbus and, and he served as Grand Knight with the group as well. Recent involvement with Immaculate Conception’s treasury-counting teams brought Richard pleasure as well.
Richard is survived by his wife, Sally Porter Citrini; his children, Susan Citrini Furr Shawn of Clayton, NC ; Christine Citrini Solomon Patrick of Marietta, GA ; Carol Citrini Schenkel Jeffrey of Oakton, VA ; Michael Porter Citrini of Raleigh, NC, three granddaughters, and six grandsons.
The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Friday at The Chapel of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, 1113 West Main St., Durham. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at Immaculate Conception Church, Durham. Burial will follow at Maplewood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Handicapped Encounter Christ HEC/2647 Broad Oaks Place/Raleigh, NC/27603. Share condolences at www.hallwynne.com. See Obituaries