John D. Izzi, 81, of Warwick passed away August 3, 2013 at Rhode Island Hospital. He was the beloved husband of Patricia M. (Crowley) Izzi.
Born in Providence, he was the son of the late Joseph Izzi, Sr. and Elizabeth (Kinney) Izzi. He was a graduate of LaSalle Academy, class of 1949, Providence College, class of 1953, and received his master’s degree from Rhode Island College in 1965. He was the recipient of numerous National Science Foundation grants for post-graduate studies in mathematics at the University of Vermont, Seton Hall, Yale, and Boston University.
After serving in the United States Army during the Korean War, he began his career as a mathematics educator. He taught at LaSalle Academy and Warren High School before moving to Warwick in 1960. For more than thirty years he taught in the Warwick Public School system, beginning at Warwick Vets, and served as mathematics department chair at both Pilgrim and Toll Gate High Schools. He also was an adjunct faculty member at CCRI and Bristol Community College and principal of Warwick Adult Education.
After retiring from the Warwick School Department in 1988, he continued teaching in various roles at the secondary school at Rhode Island Hospital, Westport High School, and again at all three Warwick public high schools. In 1965 he founded the Mathematics Education Service in Providence, where he served as director. From 1966 to 1967 he served as state supervisor of mathematics for the Massachusetts Department of Education, and from 1973 to 1979 he served as an advisor to the American Security Council. In 1972 he created the first federally funded school metrication project in the United States. The Toll Gate Metrication Project became nationally known and was featured on “The Today Show.” He was the author of “Metrication: American Style” (1974) and invented the Izzi Metric Slide Chart and Izzi Decimal Notation.
A frequent contributor to educational journals, he was an editorial advisor to the New England Mathematics Journal and a textbook and computer software reviewer for the NCTM, AAAS, and Phi Delta Kappan. He received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association of America and was named Best Math Teacher in America by the Kentucky Educational TV network. His biography was listed in Who’s Who In America and Who’s Who In The East for more than thirty years. He appeared as an extra in the TV series “Brotherhood” and “Waterfront” and was a prolific letter writer to the Providence Journal.
He was the brother of Joseph Izzi, Jr. of Smithfield. He was the loving father of Kathleen M. Silvers of West Greenwich, Donna M. Izzi of Warwick, James D. Izzi of North Kingstown, John J. Izzi of Brooklyn, New York, Jessica M. Izzi, D.V.M., of Baltimore, Maryland, and Matthew C. Izzi of Brookline, Massachusetts. He was the father-in-law of Margot Izzi of North Kingstown and Keiko Izzi of Brooklyn, New York. He was the grandfather of Andrew Pharo, Ian Pharo, Allison Silvers, Jacob Izzi, Kailey Izzi, and Henry Izzi. He was the brother-in-law of Barbara J. Izzi of Smithfield, Geraldine A. Crowley of Cranston, Mary F. Canole of Cranston, Kathleen V. Hemingway of Greenville, and John J. Crowley of Cranston. He was the former husband of Barbara (Freethy) Izzi of Warwick. He is also survived by a large extended family. He was the brother of the late Richard N. Izzi and Barbara E. Travers.
His funeral will be held on Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. from The Urquhart-Murphy Funeral Home, 800 Greenwich Avenue, Route 5, Warwick (Exit 12A of I-95) with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. in St. Francis of Assisi Church, 596 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick. Burial will follow in R.I. Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter. Relatives and friends are invited and may call on Wednesday from 4-8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to American Heart Association, 1 State St., Suite 200, Providence, RI 02908. www.murphyfuneralhomes.org