Father Alfred Pizzuto, a retired pastor of two parishes in Ulster County, died July 23 after a brief illness at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. He was 89.
He was pastor of St. Mary’s, Marlboro, 1995-2001, and St. John the Evangelist, Saugerties, 1982-1994. He also served as administrator of St. Mary’s, Poughkeepsie, 1979-1982.
He was parochial vicar of Sacred Heart, Newburgh, 2001-2004; St. Ann’s, Ossining, 1994-1995; St. Joseph, Kingston, 1969-1977; St. Vito, Mamaroneck, 1962-1969; Holy Rosary, Staten Island, 1958-1962; St. Anthony, West Harrison, 1955-1958; and St. Mary’s, Poughkeepsie, 1977-1979. He retired in 2004.
A Funeral Mass was celebrated July 26 at St. Clare of Assisi Church, the Bronx, with retired Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Walsh as celebrant and Msgr. Gerardo Colacicco, pastor of St. Joseph-Immaculate Conception parish in Millbrook, as homilist.
“He was a priest who was attentive to those around him, generous in his ministry, kind and just very joyful,” Msgr. Colacicco said. “He always had a smile and was laughing. He loved to tell stories and jokes. He would break out into laughter before he even got to the punchline.”
Msgr. Colacicco said the two first met when Father Pizzuto was parochial vicar and later administrator of St. Mary’s in Poughkeepsie. Msgr. Colacicco worked in the rectory as a junior high and high school student.
“At that time, I was like a sponge soaking it all in,” Msgr. Colacicco said. “I could hear the priests having supper in the dining room and they were always laughing. Working in the rectory and hearing their camaraderie impressed me very much. He was very much a part of my discernment into the priesthood.
When Msgr. Colacicco became a deacon and needed a car, Father Pizzuto loaned him the money for a car without being asked. The two later served together at Sacred Heart parish in Newburgh where Msgr. Colacicco was pastor and Father Pizzuto was parochial vicar.
Msgr. Colacicco said he visited Father Pizzuto at the John Cardinal O’Connor Residence in the Bronx about a month before his death. “We had a good conversation. He had a big smile and was grateful for the visit.”
Born and raised in the Bronx, Father Pizzuto studied for the priesthood at Cathedral College, Douglaston, and St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie. Cardinal Francis Spellman ordained him in 1955.
His brother, Arthur Pizzuto, survives him.
Burial was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne.