Richard (Rik) Viola
Artist, Actor, Singer
Richard J. Viola of Haddonfield and Voorhees NJ, died on Tuesday February 5, 2019 at Samarian Hospice of congestive heart failure and amyloidosis. He was 87 years old.
Rik was born in Wildwood, NJ to Peter and Ethel (nee Waltsey) Viola. Beloved husband of Marjorie, married 53 years. Loving uncle to Chelsea and Rossanna Allen, Jack and Sherry Campbell, Sarah White, David Holt, Courtney McDaniel and Justin Kent. Brother-in-law to Carolyn Holt and Cathi White.
Rik was creative, known for his wit and a man of many talents. After a stint in the US Navy, he started acting at the Pasadena Play House along side Dustin Hoffman. He was seen in many print commercials and roles on stage. Music was an integral park of Rik’s life, singing as a tenor with the Rittenhouse Opera and leading a group of retired singers called the Melodeers who entertained at nursing homes in the area. Art was, however, his first love, drawing and painting at an early age. He was a self-taught realist painter of landscapes, portraits and wild life. He was a lifelong lover of animals as proven by his many portraits of canine companions.
One painting (on the Quai at Collioure) was shown at fourteen museums in the United States. He was a staff cartoonist and illustrator for the Philadelphia Bulletin, doing cartoons for the Mr. Fix-It column. He later worked as the Creative Art Director for a Cherry Hill advertising agency, whose clients included the Cherry Hill Lodge and the Garden State Race Track. He freelanced for Fleers Bubble Gum in Philadelphia, and in the commercial art field he designed packaging and products for Mark Rodack Import Company. Rik’s art work has been exhibited in galleries in the Philadelphia and New Jersey areas.
He will be remembered by his family and friends for his wit, his laugh and his kind spirit. He was a member of the Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and Actors Equity.
A memorial celebration of Rik’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Samaritan Hospice, 5 Eves Dr. Ste 300, Marlton NJ 08053, the Animal Welfare Association, 509 Centennial Blvd. Voorhees NJ 08043 or the NJ Foundation of the Blind, 155 Morris Ave. Denville, NJ 07834. Arrangements under the direction of COSTANTINO FUNERAL HOME. For additional information or to email lasting condolences; COSTANTINOFH.COM.