Obituary: Rodney Irizarry Jr., 24, musician, animal lover, New York sports aficionado
Rodney Irizarry Jr. (aka RJ), of Darien, passed away unexpectedly, 6 days short of his 25th birthday on May 11, 2016. He was born in Stamford CT., to Rodney Irizarry Sr., now of Cheshire, and Kimberly Benedetto-Lamendola of Darien, who herself passed away in August of 2015. He was predeceased by his uncle, Scott Benedetto, of New Canaan, along with his paternal grandparents, Lydia and Jose Irizarry, of Miami, FL.
RJ is survived by his sister Jordan, and brothers Alexander and Matthew, along with his brother Anthony Lamendola, of Darien. He also leaves behind his maternal grandparents, Sandra and Anthony Benedetto Jr. of Darien, along with his step mother, Shira Irizarry, step father, John Lamendola, and his godmother, Lynn Benedetto-Vetare of Norwalk. He will also be missed by his aunts, uncles, cousins, and countless friends.
RJ graduated from Darien High School in 2009, and attended college at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, and later Norwalk Community College. RJ had the rare ability to learn a skill on his own, without being taught or reading instructions. He learned to play the guitar and drums in this manner, and played in his own band, Crazy Old Language, while still in High School. More recently, he took an interest in cooking, and frequently prepared meals for his grandparents, without using a cookbook or a recipe.
RJ also had a diverse set of hobbies and interests. His interest in music was a prime example, as he equally enjoyed listening to Bob Marley, The Doors, and Motley Crue. RJ also had a deep love of animals. He was around dogs and cats his entire life, and his pets always became extremely happy when he entered a room.
RJ was a rabid sports fan of the Giants, Mets, and Knicks. He was able to see the Mets play in 2 World Series in his lifetime, and the Giants play in 3 SuperBowls (winning 2).
A memorial service was held for him at Lawrence Funeral Home in Darien, and evidenced by the fact that the building was packed to capacity, RJ touched many people’s lives during his lifetime, and will be missed greatly.
Doantions in RJ’s name can be made to the JR Schoen Memorial Foundation, http://jrschoenmemorial.org/, or the ASPCA.
— by the Family