Rich LoNigro, Founding HOF Board Member, Dies at 81

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Rich LoNigro, Founding HOF Board Member, Dies at 81

Rich LoNigro, a founding board member of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame and longtime owner and operator of Port Jeff Sporting Goods, died. He was 81.

In 2016, the Hall of Fame honored him with a special recognition award.  At this award banquet, with all his family there.

“I own a business that makes trophies, and trophies are things we are all very proud of,” he said. “I brought all of my trophies with me tonight, and they are sitting out there in the audience. These are my trophies and awards; I take them wherever I go”.

LoNigro started the sporting goods business in 1971, and it was built into one of the top ten privately owned sporting goods companies in the United States.  In 2018, Port Jefferson Sporting Goods was acquired by BSN Sporting Goods, and Rich got to fulfill his lifelong dream to spend every waking moment with his family and his beloved grandchildren.

LoNigro was instrumental in founding St. Gerard’s Baseball and Soccer intramural programs and the Terryville Soccer Travel league, which have benefited thousands of young local athletes and are flourishing today.

Throughout his life, he was honored in many ways.  In 1984, Hope House Ministries and Father Frank Pizzarelli recognized him as Man of the Year.  In 2000, Richie was honored as The Man of The Year by the Suffolk County Police Athletic League (PAL).

He was also nationally recognized by Rawlings Sporting Goods Company as a “Silver Glove” recipient, a rare honor bestowed on only a select few in the sporting goods industry.  In 2006, Richie was inducted into the New York State USSSA (Softball) Hall of Fame for his dedication as an outstanding player and business relationship. He was also inducted into the St. Anthony’s High School Hall of Fame.

LoNigro was pre-deceased by his parents, Angelo and Rose, Brothers Joseph, Frank, Phillip and Steven, daughter Trisha Ann and son Matthew (Julia).  He is survived by his amazing wife Priscilla of 62 years who was the absolute love of his life, Richard Jr., Robert (Amy), Michael (Angela), Craig (Kristin), Kevin (Kim), Keira (Robert), Koren(Tim), Paul(Donna), Shauna(Robert), Brianne(Nicholas).  He was also survived by his amazing 26 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren and 1 great, great grandchild.