Obituary: John Rillo

Respected restaurateur, brother, U.S. Army veteran

Local businessman and restaurateur John Rillo of Claremont died at the age of 90 on June 12.

John was born to parents Mary (Guido) and Celestrino Rillo in Windber, Pennsylvania on April 17, 1934. He attended Windber High School and went on to Cornell University, graduating from the School of Hotel Management in 1960.

He served his country in the U.S. Army from June 15, 1955 to March 3, 1957. He then took a manager position with The Black Sheep Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Later he moved to Southern California and became an important part of South Hills Country Club in West Covina, where he made his home. He went on to manage the very popular Stark’s Restaurant. Afterward he became a supervisor for the Hungry Tiger Restaurant chain.

In 1983 he opened his own restaurant, Rillo’s. “This beautiful Italian continental restaurant was a jewel in the Pomona Valley,” his family shared. “From clientele to staff and purveyors, John Rillo was a name known throughout the Inland Empire. His character was among the most cherished contemplations; it is a fixed star in the firmament of great names, shining without twinkling or obscureness, with clear, steady beneficent light. He was an incredible friend and counsel. As an employer there were none better. He was deeply loved by all who knew him and will be sorely missed by the same.”

He was preceded in death by his brothers Nick, Joseph and Cosmo Rillo; and by his sisters Carmella Di Guil, Rose Spinos, Antonette Lunn, Sue Cogwill, Jennie Kennedy, Mildred Rizzo, and Lucy Cantarine.

He is survived by his sisters Mary Lou Pruchnic of New Castle, Pennsylvania, and Virginia Bohler of Claremont.

“We, John’s family, friends and colleagues, know what a better place this world is from his presence,” his family added. “E` la nostra buona fortuna averlo saputo, John Rillo.

“In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength and my refuge is in God. Psalm 62:7”

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 29 at Todd Memorial Chapel, 570 N. Garey Ave., Pomona, CA 91767.


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