Photography

Richard Mathew Olivieri

December 6, 1964 ~ June 12, 2022 (age 57)

Obituary

Richard Mathew Olivieri, loving husband and father, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday June 12th, 2022 at the age of 57. Diagnosed in 2011, he spent over 10 years battling an aggressive form of early-onset frontotemporal dementia, throughout which time his wife, Debi, acted as his full-time caregiver.

 

Predeceased by father Herb, and brother Lawrence, he is survived by wife Debi, children Kristin, Chelsie, and son-in-law Jeremiah, mother Faye, sister Caron, and numerous nieces, nephews, family, and good friends.

 

On December 6th, 1964, Rick was born into a family with a rich Philadelphia history: Cheesesteaks. His grandfather, Pasquale “Pat” Olivieri, is credited with having invented the world-famous Philadelphia Steak sandwich. At the age of 14, young Rick stood behind the grill at his father’s restaurant for the first time and never looked back. In 1982, Herb and Rick opened their first independent steak shop,“Olivieri Prince of Steaks,” at Philadelphia’s famous Reading Terminal Market (RTM). Four years later, Rick met and married a sassy Italian girl who worked at a neighboring restaurant at the RTM. He and his wife, Debi, went on to raise two beautiful daughters, Kristin and Chelsie.

 

Rick attended Penn State, majoring in business management, with the intention that he would one day own his own steak shop, and in 1996, he did just that. Upon Herb’s retirement, Rick bought the business, renaming the shop at the Reading Terminal “Rick’s Original Philly Steaks”. “Rick’s Steaks” went on to earn numerous accolades and honors, among them winning Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly award for “Best Cheesesteak”. He’s had the privilege of representing Philadelphia by serving his famous steaks at an annual festival held in Aix en Provence, as part of France’s “Sister Cities” Program, and was featured on Al Roker’s, “Roker on the Road”, series, in an episode titled “Sandwich Heroes”.

In addition to his flagship restaurant at the Reading Terminal Market, he had shops at both Citizens Bank Park and the Eagle’s Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field (“The Linc”).

 

Rick’s love for people was unmatched, leaving a lasting impression on all those who met him. Whether entertaining tourists from across the globe at his restaurant, or relaxing at dinner with family and friends, he was always happiest while in the company of others. People were drawn to Rick because of his charismatic personality and infectious laugh but remained by his side because of his generosity and deep compassion.

This genuine love for others is all too fitting for a man who lived fully, worked heartily, and died peacefully in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly love. A city that will not be the same without him.

 

Memorial service details will be forthcoming. Please check back for more information.

 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Rick’s name to theaftd.org, to support research and help find a cure for FTD and other forms of dementia.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Richard

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Services

You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Richard Mathew Olivieri

Donations

The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration
2700 Horizon Dr. Suite 120, King of Prussia PA 19406
Tel: 1-866-507-7222
Web: http://www.theaftd.org

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