It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our mother, Olga "Olly" Riotto on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at age 90. A lifelong resident of Jersey City, she was the beloved wife of our father, Randy Riotto, Sr., and mother of 3 children; Randy Riotto, Jr. and his wife Toni Dara Infante, Lorraine Riotto, and Richard Riotto. She is also survived by her loving grandchildren, Giancarlo and Sabrina Riotto and her dear sister, Gloria Switlyk, nieces, nephews, cousins, and her dear friend, Annaliese.
Olga was born on the lower East Side of New York City and moved to Jersey City in 1943 with her Ukrainian Catholic parents, the late James and Pauline Switlyk, and her siblings, Gloria and the late Henry "Hank," William, and Ray Switlyk. Together, they opened a family store in the Jersey City Heights on the corner of Central Ave. and Prospect St., making homemade food and desserts that the neighborhood patrons enjoyed.
Olly met her future husband, Randy, in Dickinson High School on a hayride before graduating in 1947. She was a member of the Boots & Saddles Club in High School and enjoyed horseback riding at Montclair Riding Academy. Olly and Randy dated throughout high school and stayed together during our father's service in the Korean War.
Before she married and raised three children, she was a full-time baby nurse for the New York Foundling Hospital, caring for orphaned babies until they were two years old or later adopted. She was also a live-in nurse doing private duty for some time in New York City. Olly loved classic movies and at one time enjoyed keeping up on all the gossip on celebrities. She never missed a Yankees game on television and could often be heard saying “That’s my Mariano” in reference to her favorite player, Mariano Rivera. She had a beautiful voice and would always sing around the home. As a child in New York City, she was asked to sing on a radio show but on the day of her performance was afraid to do it. She always wondered if she did show up what could have been.
In 1958, together with our father and his mother they founded the Riotto Funeral Home in the Jersey City Heights. She worked tirelessly helping around the funeral home and answering the phone for over 30 years. As our father spent time working at other funeral homes to support our family, our mother oversaw the business, greeting mourners and inviting them up to our apartment above the funeral home for dinner.
Her greatest love in life was caring for children. She was a wonderfully caring and gentle stay-at-home Mom and grandmother that enjoyed cooking and attending all family events. Our mother's love was unending, and she always worried about our well-being even up to her last days.
We have no words to accurately describe the sorrow we have losing our Mom. We are grateful to our family and dear friends that have been kind to our Mom and kept her company, even through the difficult times over the past few years. We have been heartened by the prayers and messages of support we received as her health declined. Our sister Lorraine's care and coordination with Olly’s many caregivers and medical staff allowed our family to have more time with our mother than we ever thought was possible. We take great comfort in knowing that our Mom has been reunited with her brothers who always watched over her, her devoted parents, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Visitation is on Saturday, April 6, 2019, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 7, 2019, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a Parastas Service on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. at RIOTTO FUNERAL HOME & Cremation Company, 3205 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Jersey City, NJ 07306 (www.riottofh.com). For GPS Navigation it is best to use parking lot entrance address: 14 Stagg St., Jersey City. Funeral will begin on Monday, April 8, 2019, 9:30 a.m. at the funeral home. Funeral Mass will follow 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 99 Broadway Jersey City, NJ 07306. Entombment will take place at Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum, North Arlington.