Kay Darlene (Hancock) Rizzo of Visalia, California died June 22, 2022. She was 78 years old.
A beloved author of more than 50 books, public speaker, and woman’s ministry leader, Kay was born in and raised in Troy, New York. She attended Union Springs Academy in Union Springs New York, and Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster Massachusetts where she met and married Richard Rizzo and eventually received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English. After giving birth to two daughters, Rhonda and Kelli, she joined her husband as a teacher in the Seventh-day Adventist academy school system—a career path that took the family to Shenandoah Valley Academy (New Market, Virginia), Wisconsin Academy (Columbus, Wisconsin), Sandia View Academy (Corrales, New Mexico), and Milo Academy (Days Creek, Oregon). In her early 40s, Kay left teaching to pursue her writing career, eventually producing more than 50 books and appearing as a public speaker throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Australia. A graduate of CLASS (Christian Leaders and Speaker's Seminars, Inc.), she served on their West Coast teaching staff for ten years. A staunch Christian, Kay believed in the transformative power of Christ’s love to heal and redeem.
Kay is survived by her husband of 59 years, Richard Rizzo of Visalia, California, her daughter Rhonda Rizzo and son-in-law John Grosshuesch of Appleton, Wisconsin, daughter Kelli Wheeler and son-in law Mark Wheeler of Roseville, California, grandson Jarod Wheeler of Chicago, IL, grandson Alec Wheeler of Roseville, California, sister, Valerie Hutchinson (Joe Hutchinson) of Pulaski, NY, nephew Ron Krueger (Sharon Krueger) of Gentry, AR, and niece Susan Haynes (Kurt Kuranda) of Rogers, AR.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Kay’s name to your local women’s shelter.