Richard Samuel Foti of Pinellas Park, passed away in his home on April 28, 2020 with his son Mark Foti at his side. He was born in Jamestown, NY. on June 29, 1937 to Thomas and Bessie (Armeli) Foti. He joined a brother Anthony and sister Sarah, and was later joined by a younger brother Thomas. He completed high school and pursued studies in business and barbering in Buffalo, NY. Upon completion of his studies, he married Elizabeth (Beatty) Thompson and established himself and his family as a young man in Dunkirk, then Fredonia, NY, becoming the owner of the Fredonia/Dunkirk Barber Shop, then Red Dot Lanes (a bowling alley by day/night club by night), and finally Foti’s House of Fine Italian Foods Restaurant/Catering business during his 19 years in Fredonia, building excellent businesses that served the community and provided for his family. He then moved to the Washington, D.C. area to pursue new opportunities. He invested in and was the Director of the Wheaton Barber School in Wheaton, MD. for 20 years until he retired, taking a business from no-profit to a very successful business that was very well-known and respected throughout D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. He ran this business with his business partner and friend, John Brice, who he remained close friends with until his death. John often commented that he looked at Rich as a father figure, and Rich very much valued their friendship. He patented a technique of cutting a taper that is known today in the barbering community as the “Rich Foti taper.” He took so much pride in all he did. Upon his retirement, Richard moved to Lewes, DE. to enjoy the beach and the ocean. He always loved the beach, the boardwalk, and having his family and friends come to visit, and always made it a priority to show everyone a great time. He always made sure that everyone around him was happy and having fun. Rich spent a lot of his free time performing for senior living centers, and also provided free haircuts throughout his life for those that were bed-ridden or could not leave their house. As a performer at other venues, he sang his favorite Frank Sinatra songs, danced, and told jokes to the crowd. He loved performing and took great pride in what he did, even taking singing lessons in his 70’s to improve his craft. He was an amazing chef, and he loved to share his food creations with his family and friends. After someone would come and experience his food, they would talk about it for years after. He had a passion and zest for everything he did, and loved seeing people happy because of something he gave or shared. He was a generous man, very approachable, and extremely easy to talk to about anything. Rich was one of the most positive, upbeat, and forward-thinking people, and was always looking for his next exciting venture. He searched out windows of opportunity and pursued those opportunities without fear, wanting to achieve his dreams. He never gave up on anything, and he had an extremely strong work ethic. He was supportive, loving, caring, and so positive it was infectious. He had many friends, because everyone loved being around him. It is with deepest sadness that we have to say goodbye to our father, brother, and friend.
He will be mourned and remembered by his brother Thomas and sister-in-law Janette; son Mark Foti of Pinellas Park; his daughter Sharon Murphy and her family, son-in-law Steven Murphy, and grandchildren Jordan, and Brayonna of Culpeper, VA., and Toni Barnett of Charlottesville, VA., his daughter Janet Felice and her family, son-in-law Salvatore Felice II, and grandchildren Giavanna, and Salvatore “Tripp” III of Hollister, CA.; granddaughter Lauren Miller and her family, husband Bradley Miller and their three children Emma, Jackson, and James of Clifton, MD.; and grandson Mark Foti and his wife Kayla of Gaithersburg, MD.; and nieces and nephews Connie Taddio, Anthony Ingrao, and Richard Ingrao and their spouses and families. He was pre-deceased by his brother Anthony Foti, sister-in-law Ida Foti, sister Sarah Ingrao and brother-in-law Anthony Ingrao.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a memorial will be planned at a future time when he can be laid to rest in St. James Cemetery in Jamestown, NY. near his parents, brother, and sister. When this is planned, the family will reach out to let interested parties know so that those that desire can attend.