Matthew Criscuolo

Visitation at Funeral Home

3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sunday, March 10, 2024
Lawrence Funeral Home
2119 Boston Post Road
Darien, Connecticut, United States

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am
Monday, March 11, 2024
St. Matthew Church
216 Scribner Avenue
Norwalk, Connecticut, United States

Final Resting Place

11:30 am
Monday, March 11, 2024
St. John Cemetery
25 Camp Ave
Darien, Connecticut, United States

Obituary of Matthew Criscuolo

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Matt Criscuolo was born on July 24th, 1944 in Agerola, a small town situated high in the mountains along the Amalfi Coast, in Naples Italy. In 1959, at the age of 15, Matt and his family arrived by ship at Ellis Island, New York ready to embark on a new journey in America.


Together, with his identical twin brother Luca, they set out to live the American Dream. Matt’s older brother, Nick, who had arrived one year earlier, helped them establish their roots, along with other family members who had made their way to America years hence. Matt and his family roughed out a livelihood with simple jobs, but Matt’s ambitions were far too great to hold him down.


Matt completed college and focused on becoming an interpreter for the United  Nations. During his studies, he discovered a great passion for teaching and took a position of Professor of Languages at the City University of New York.


Although very happy with teaching, Matt wanted to start a family with his loving and supportive wife, Marcella, but his teaching salary prevented him from realizing that noble aim. His brothers were already very successful restaurant owners, and Matt’s ambition kicked in yet again.


In 1975, Matt opened Rowayton Pizza, in Rowayton CT., because he simply couldn’t resist being by the water, which reminded him of his home in Amalfi. His hard work and determination afforded him great success, and he was able to provide for his two young sons, Matthew Jr. and Joe,  and his little ‘Princess’, Tina. His dream of having a family was complete.


Matt was blessed with success, but was sadly diagnosed with kidney disease in his late forties. While on a donor list, he endured dialysis until finally, through the selflessness of organ donation, Matt was blessed with a healthy kidney, which he honored for 27 years.


As ever, Matt’s determination and ambition inspired him to make a splash in the organ donor world. While honoring his new lease on life through vigorous exercise and diet, he discovered another passion - swimming.


He turned that passion into a voice, joining the American Transplant Olympic Team as a competitive swimmer. There, he placed on hundreds of occasions, winning countless gold, silver and bronze medals over more than a decade. The very first gold medal he won was sent to the donor’s family in honor of the ultimate sacrifice that enabled Matt to have a second chance on life.


He raised awareness to millions and encouraged many to become donors. He never gave up on anything, and accomplished what he set his mind to. His determination knew no bounds and he was a person anyone could rely on, putting the needs of others far ahead of his own.


Matt's memory will be cherished by his wife Marcella, his son Matthew Criscuolo Jr. and his wife Krizstina; his son Joe Criscuolo and his wife Agnes; his daughter Tina and her husband Dan; two sisters, Camilla Derosa and Carmela Pane; his twin brother, Luca Criscuolo; four grandchildren; Julian Criscuolo, Sara Criscuolo, Siena Criscuolo, and Scarlett Douglas. And of course, thousands of beautiful souls that he has had the joy of meeting and sharing a glass of wine and a good story with.

Wake will be held at the Lawrence Funeral Home on Sunday March 10, 2024 from 3 PM to 7 PM.  A Mass will be Monday March 11, 2024 at St. Matthews Church in Norwalk, 216 Scribner Ave. Norwalk CT 06854.  Burial will follow at St Johns Cemetery in Darien.

He would appreciate any donations to be remitted to the National Kidney Foundation in his name.


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