If you picked up a Santarpio’s Pizza from the kitchen during the week you most likely got to know Baliram Rishi “Richie” Boodoosingh.
Richie was one of Santarpio’s top pizza cooks and for the last 25 years was like family to the Santarpios.
Sadly, on March 1 Richie died suddenly at his home in Revere at the age of 46.
“He was here working two weeks ago but wasn’t feeling that great,” said Joia Santarpio. “He went to the hospital and they kept him for two nights. They did every test possible and then sent him home with some medication. Two days later he died.”
Joia said the Santarpio Family and longtime staffers at the famed pizza place on Chelsea Street are beside themselves.
“He started working as a prep cook in the mornings when he was 21,” said Joia. “His brother also worked with us and eventually he became our Monday, Tuesday and Thursday pizza cook.”
Richie soon cultivated a loyal following of pizza enthusiasts who would order Santarpio’s on the night Richie was cooking.
“Every customer has their favorite pizza cook here,” said Joia. “If they liked the way you cooked pizza they’d come on your night and Richie had a loyal following.”
Joia said the entire Santarpio Family and staff are deeply saddened by the loss of Richie.
“I call everyone down here my work family,” she said. “Because everyone’s been here for so long they just become part of your family. You know we spend more time with each other than we do with our own families.”
Joia said Richie was always a lighthearted jokester that kept spirits up on the busy nights he was working.
“He was also a very hard worker,” said Joia. “He got everything done that needed to get done. We are so saddened by the loss. Everyone is kind of at a loss down here because it does not make sense. He wasn’t overweight, he wasn’t a big drinker or smoker, he didn’t do drugs. We still don’t know the reason for this. Everyone from our staff to our customers to our vendors are just in shock.”
Richie was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and came to the United States at age 12. He was raised in East Boston and recently moved to Revere.
Aside from being a talented pizza cook he also used his talent with electronics as a technician at Parkway Sound.
He was the beloved father of Mileena, Bally and Maditau; Grandfather of Ajani Grant; Loving son of Anand Bassant and Parbati Boodoosingh; Brother of Ganesh Boodoosingh and his wife Stacy; and Uncle of Ganesh Jr.,Naliah and Bianca. “Richie I will always remember our Eastie days,” said friend Jessica Colon. “The memories are endless. My heart aches for your family. You were so loved. I will carry those memories forever. May you rest in paradise.”