Lions Club leader, engineer, worked on lunar module
Rick Veltri. (Courtesy photo)
Enrico Veltri, known to his family, friends, and loved ones as Rick or Ricky, died Nov. 8, 2020, at age 79. He was born in Paterson, New Jersey, on Dec. 15, 1940, to Jean DiGiaimo and Paul Veltri, welcomed by brother Orlando.
Rick rose from humble beginnings. His parents immigrated from Italy. He attended Eastside High School, where he studied hard despite challenging surroundings. Rick put himself through college, graduating from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Immediately after graduating, he moved to West Palm Beach to work for Pratt & Whitney.
Later he moved to Binghamton, New York, working at a Link Simulator, teaching pilots. He joined a ski club where he met Maria Kroon, who had moved from the Netherlands to the U.S. to practice nursing. Rick was not an accomplished skier, but with persistence he won her over with his good hair and charm. They married on April 22, 1967.
Rick continued his education at Syracuse University where he earned his master’s degree in engineering while working for General Electric. He continued to work for G.E. for over 40 years, including work on the lunar module.
While living in Dobbs Ferry, New York, Rick and Maria adopted Joanna. His job relocated to Mandeville, Louisiana, where they adopted Christine. Soon thereafter, Rick’s work led his growing family to Harvard, where son John was born. They resided in Harvard for 37 years.
In 2016, not long after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he and Maria moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, to be close to their daughters, and granddaughters Maya and Ella.
Rick adored singing in the choir for St. Theresa Catholic Church. He was a dedicated member of the Lions Club and was also an avid participant in the men’s coffees sponsored by the Harvard Council on Aging.
Before moving with Maria to Maryland, Rick could often be seen taking walks with friends while taking in the gorgeous Harvard scenery.
Rick’s beloved wife Maria died Dec. 6, just four weeks after he did. He is survived by his brother Orlando and his wife Lois; children Joanna, Tine and husband Keith, and John; and grandchildren Maya and Ella.