Robert J. “Bobby’ Hazelton, 76, passed away peacefully, with his devoted wife by his side, on Sunday, November 15, 2020, at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare of MVHS.
Bobby was born in Utica, March 18, 1944, a son of the late Douglas Hazelton and Lucy (Gifune) Hazelton Marchese. He was educated in local schools and a graduate of T.R. Proctor High School.
A legendary restaurateur, Bobby began working in various restaurants at a young age. In the early 70’s, he and partner, Richie Scamardo, established the Clinton House Restaurant, and later moved the operation to the Alexander Hamilton Inn, where they operated into the late 80’s. Bobby retired for a couple of years until he opened Bobby’s on Bleecker St., in Utica. All the restaurants were always well known for great food and performances from famed jazz performers. Many of the great chefs in the area learned their craft working with Bobby and Richie. Although many have laid claim to the first “Chicken Riggie” dish, most would agree like many great inventions, it was born out of necessity, when Bobby would feed some friends, during a late night card game. Always a humble man, Bobby always said he enjoyed many of the chicken riggie dishes that have developed over the years, better than his own.
Following the closing of Bobby’s Restaurant, he took a position with his cousin, Louis Gifune’s, at his business, Rome General Lumber, which he helped manage for many years. In August of 1995, Bobby was joined in a close and loving marriage to Kathy Martin, which has lasted over twenty-five years.
A man who was always fun to be with, if you couldn’t have a good time with Bobby, you just couldn’t have a good time.
He will be sadly missed by his loving wife, Kathy; also many beloved cousins, especially acknowledging, Louie and Sunny Gifune, Richard and Linda Gianotti, and his mother-in-law, Carol Intorre; special people in his heart, John Barkett, Dickie and Paula Pardi, Jimmy and Cathy Noon and Tony Matt; also brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Steve Martin, Tom Martin, Dee and Angelo Intorre, Bob and Marlene Martin and Maryann and Tom Hastings; his nieces and nephews, Anthony Pitts, Tyrone Pitts, Sean Hastings, Kathleen Martin, John Harf, Nicole Harf, Ed Tome, Lisa and Jim Lieby, John David Martin and Katrina and Jon Martin; and many beloved great nieces, nephews, friends, his feline kids, “Spaghetti” and “Noodles” and his canine kids, “Jack” and “Jillian”. He was predeceased by many beloved aunts and uncles, a sister-in-law, Denise Martin; father-in-law, John Martin and step father-in-law, Ben Intorre.
A Celebration of Bobby’s life officiated by Pastor Seth McCoy will be held on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Harts Hill Baptist Church on 5266 Wilcox Road, in Whitesboro. (It can be viewed live at: https://www.facebook.com/Harts-Hill-Baptist-Church-340091877806/?fref=nf
The church is at a very limited capacity and we ask that you arrive a little earlier to expedite signing in for covid tracing. We will try to accommodate as many people as possible, masks covering your nose and mouth and social distancing will be required. During these socially trying times, reaching out to the family on our website is of great comfort to them.
The family would like to offer their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Sperling and the many other doctors and nurses at St. Luke’s Hospital, for the loving care shown to Bobby during his illness.
In memory of Bobby Hazelton, please consider St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital at stjude.org or Harts Hill Baptist Church, 5266 Wilcox Road, Whitesboro, NY 13492
“ Ooh Boo Hoo,
Big Daddy’s in the House.”
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert J. Hazelton, please visit our floral store.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Harts Hill Baptist Church
5266 Wilcox Road, Whitesboro NY 13492