Mr. Domenic N. “Zip” Raiola, age 89 of Shore Road, Bristol, died peacefully, Wednesday, October 17, 2018 surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of the late Lucretia A. (Massa) Raiola, his wife of 46 years, who preceded him in death in October of 2002. Born and a lifelong resident of Bristol, he was the son of the late James and Antoinette (Stanzione) Raiola. Zip was a star athlete at Colt Memorial High School, Bristol, where he excelled in both basketball and baseball. After high school, he attended Providence College, graduating in 1951. After graduation he returned to Colt Memorial, later Bristol High School, now Mt. Hope High School, and began what would ultimately become a legendary career as a teacher and basketball coach. Along the way, Coach Raiola also worked with his great friend and legendary coach Joe Mullaney, as a scout for the Los Angeles Lakers and as an assistant coach at Brown and PC. Coach Raiola returned to Bristol High School as head basketball coach in 1982 and continued as head coach when Mt. Hope High School was established in 1993-94. In total, Zip coached for an incredible 52 years until his retirement in 2005. During those 52 years, Coach Raiola collected over 300 victories and at one time was recognized as the winningest basketball coach in Rhode Island. Over the years, his teams have won countless division championships and eight state championships. Most impressively, Coach Raiola has the distinction of being the only coach in state basketball history to have won a state championship in 5 consecutive decades – the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. In recognition of his accomplishments, Zip has been inducted to the Bristol Athletic Hall of Fame, the RI Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and the RI Interscholastic League Hall of Fame. Zip was a winning coach, but the true measure of Zip Raiola lies not in his win/loss record, or in how many championships he won, but in how he positively and indelibly impacted lives of the student-athletes he worked with. He was not just a great coach, but a great teacher, a great motivator, a great nurturer, and a great friend.
He is survived by five children; Deborah L. Pacheco (Thomas), James J. Raiola (Lisa), both Bristol, Karen E. Philbin (John) of Damascus, MD, Pasquale J. Raiola (Diane) and Alicia A. DelSanto (T.J.), both of Bristol, ten grandchildren; Casey Pacheco, Brittany Wasik (John), Brooke Pacheco, Stefanie Raiola (Baptiste Bataille), Austin Raiola, Bailey and J.C. Philbin, and Mitchell, Christopher and Jesse Raiola, three great grandchildren; Olivia and Liam Wasik and Harper Bataille and his dear friend, Nick Conti. In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by siblings; Camille “Dolly” Bruno and Pasquale Raiola.
Funeral services from the Sansone Funeral Home, 192 Wood Street, Bristol, Monday, October 22, 2018 at 9:00 AM with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 141 State Street, Bristol. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Chestnut Street, Bristol. Visiting hours will be Sunday, October 21, 2018 from 2:00-5:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 141 State Street, Bristol, RI 02809. For online condolences, shared memories, information and directions go to www.sansonefuneralhome.com
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
141 State Street, Bristol RI 02809