Testament for Richard S. Gresalfi

By Christopher T. Gentile
September 11, 2010

I knew Richie for 40 years.  We grew up together, we had lots of fun together, we worked together through our companies, and he was my best man at my wedding.  I personally knew all of the different sides of Richie, and I can honestly say he was the same honest, loving, funny and generous person, whether he was with his best friends that he know for many years, a new friend that he just met, or a business associate that he worked with, or against, in his law practice.

One of the frustrating parts of the passing of a friend or family member is that their passing is when you truly realize who that person was and how much they affected your life.  Richie was such an unselfish man, who put the happiness and joy of the people around him, as the priority in his life.  Richie was the best man of more weddings than most of us will ever attend.  He was the best man for the weddings of his close friends, but also for people that he was only friends with for a relatively short time.  This was not because these people did not have other friends, but it was because of the nature of Richie’s personality and actions, as when you were around him, you truly felt like he was your best friend.

Richie had many expressions.  Like the hand on his mouth, shoulders raised with the little giggle, when he did something wrong.  As when he accidently lit a blow torch on his parents front lawn in high school, and had the gas turned up too high.  The blast of flame that

came out burnt all the hair off of my leg and lit the surrounding grass on fire.  While I was slapping the grass with my hand to put out the fire, I turned to look at Richie, who was in his childish hand on mouth, shoulders raised little giggle expression.  Or the stern face with the upside down smile, which depicted the “don’t mess with me” attitude.  He used this when he was shifting the gears in his sports cars with the stick shift, and also during his legal work.  But behind these expressions, he was the same caring man, and often a slap on the back from him would let you know that.

The epitome of how great a person Richie was is to look at what profession he was in and how people reacted to him.  Richie was a seasoned attorney, and the managing partner of an international, highly recognized, law firm.  Now attorneys are often hated by many people, from clients who did not get what they wanted, to opposing counsel and their clients.  But with Richie, and over the 40 years that I knew him, I cannot think of a single person that hated him.  It would be easier to find a person that hated a Priest or Rabbi, than it would be to find somebody who hated Richie. Richie was just that great of a person.

Richie, along with his wife Jayne, created a fantastic family, with the births of Stephanie, Christopher and Kelly.  Richie will always be remembered, and will live on in his family and friends.  He has graced me with the honor of being his friend, and he is permanently embedded in my mind, heart and soul.  The two things that I am positive about in the passing of Richard S. Gresalfi is that heaven is now a better place with the inclusion of Richie’s soul, and the world that we live in has lost one of God’s greatest creations.

I love you pal!
Christopher T. Gentile