Richard M. Epifanio of Union, New Jersey passed away on Tuesday morning, April 11, 2017. Rich had a long battle with colon cancer, fighting strong and hard the whole way through. Rich is survived by his parents Zenaida and Henrique Epifanio, brothers Ralph and Robert Epifanio, and his fiancé of 17 years, Maria Veloso.
Rich was born in Newark, New Jersey and moved to Union, New Jersey as a young child, where he made a happy life for himself. He was also survived by his beloved dog Max. Rich took Max everywhere with him, their bond was unbreakable. Other than his dog, Rich had many interests and was great at almost everything he did. Known as "the jack of all trades", Rich was able to fix anything and everything that was broken. His love and skill of working with his hands was both unmeasurable and remarkable. Rich was able to make a piece of furniture simply by using whatever was laying around the house. He was the MacGyver of his day.
Rich worked as a carpenter and his specialty was hard wood flooring. He started R&E Hardwood Flooring with his brother Ralph in 2000. Later, he went on to work in the Laborers Union for Gray Supply. In October of 2013, while working for Gray supply, Rich was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. The disease forced him to receive chemotherapy treatments every other week for two and a half years. Rich took his situation in stride and never allowed his condition to prevent him from living his life. In true Rich fashion, he rode his motorcycle to and from the hospital to receive his treatments. Motorcycles and cars were another passion of Rich's. He loved riding with his brothers and spending time in the garage making improvements on all his favorite cars and Jeep.
Rich and Maria had a long lasting, loving relationship. One of their favorite things to do together was travel and they did a lot of it. All of their trips were exciting but a few held a special place in both their hearts. This past summer, they traveled to Portugal where they had the opportunity to meet some of Rich's family for the first time ever. Rich especially enjoyed the lack of speed limits on the roads in Portugal. Colorado was by far Rich's favorite because of the adventurous hikes and the beautiful scenery.
The Epifanio family selected the Colon Cancer Alliance as recipients of donations on Rich's behalf. He would appreciate your continued support for the fight against colon cancer. The family and friends of Richard Epifanio will be participating in the Undy Run/Walk on Saturday, July 15, 2017 in Pier Village, Long Branch, New Jersey. The walk starts at 8 am, and the sign up is at 7 am. We hope to see you there. You can donate or join our UNDY team by using this link: http://support.ccalliance.org/site/TR/5K/UndyNEW?team_id=46456&pg=team&fr_id=2517.
Thank you again for all of your support, it is greatly appreciated by everyone touched by this disease.