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On March 30, 2018, Rico or Al Ricco John Stasi (As his mother would call him when he was in trouble and believe it or not we heard his full name quite often.) broke a long standing family tradition by passing away in a month other than December. His father, Otto Stasi, mother, Ruth Stasi Barnes, older sister, Georgia Harness, and stepfather Donald Barnes started this unfortunate precedent. In a rare moment of family solidarity, his brothers and sisters, Sandy Ray, William (Linna) Wheeler, Kristie Stasi, Lisa Stasi (Rick) Knight, Jodie (Melissa) Stasi, Jamie Stasi and Jimmy Stasi as well as nieces and nephews Stasi Lynn McMillan, Jay Ray, Missy Hoeft, Scott Ray, Dylan Wheeler, Mika (Marie) Borror, Tony (Angie) Harness, Shannon (Jimmy) Simmons, Anthony Sanders, Roman Stasi, Oliver Stasi and a whole contingent of other family members are left heartbroken by his loss.
Rico was born February 18, 1961 in Champaign, IL and graduated from Centennial High School in 1979. He also attended Parkland College. Though he completed enough credits to graduate, he declined the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony.
Rico was an avid trap shooter, enjoyed fishing with his friends, Isaac and Luke and had a great love for all animals. This love for animals carried over to his kindness towards people. He was known for his ability to listen, his willingness to lend a helping hand at a moment’s notice and he was rarely, if ever, heard to speak a harsh word about anyone. He did; however, drive his family crazy with his addiction to the programs Forged in Fire and Pawn Stars.
Most who read this know Rico from roller skating. It would be an understatement to say that he developed an interest in roller skating at a young age. He was so fascinated by it that he applied for a job at Skateland in Savoy at the age of 14. It was a big no-go. He was underage, had no driver’s license, no way to get there, the place was in the middle of nowhere and the promise to walk to work every day was met with more than a little skepticism. In Rico-like fashion (to say he was stubborn would be an understatement) he continued to apply until he was finally able to pester, pursue and eventually convince the then owners to hire him at 16. This would be a decision that would not only shape Rico’s life but impact the lives of so many more. The rink would be a place where area kids would learn and excel at the sport he loved for more than three decades from a person who genuinely loved kids as much as he loved to skate. Nothing made him happier than to teach the children and in a few cases the grandchildren of his former skaters.
Rico was a long-time registered speed coach with USA Roller Sport and manager/member of RSA. He was honored and thrilled to have coached at least one skater to a national championship. Although he enjoyed competing, his heart lay in teaching others either through formal lessons or off the cuff tips and coaching the Skateland Speed Skating Team. In 2011, Rico added University of Illinois building service worker to his resume. This addition would also bring him new friends. He was noted by faculty, students and coworkers as being as conscientious of a BSW employee as he was reliable and kind.
Because of Rico's allergies to flowers and grass or at least in keeping with a lifelong lie to his family to avoid lawn work, we ask that in lieu of flowers donations of remembrance be made online at rollerskating.com or via mail to:
Roller Skating Foundation
6905 Corporate Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46278
A celebration of life to honor him will be held at Skateland in Savoy on Monday, April 9 from 5 - 7pm. (Yes, you may wear your skates.) He will be missed by family, friends and anyone that ever donned a pair of roller skates and heard “Rico to concessions!” over the PA at Skateland.