Spectacular Senior for September: Ric Ortisi

Spectacular Senior for September: Ric Ortisi

"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made." – Robert Browning

Every month, the Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center elects a senior citizen of the month. The Gabber finds out more about what makes these distinguished men and ladies so spectacular.

Hometown: Middletown, Connecticut

Current City:Gulfport

When did you move to the area: April 1998

What was your career?

Custom cabinetry and house painting. While I was building cabinets, I have been fortunate to meet stars like Martha Raye [and] Shirley Jones, as well as other TV executives. I am self-taught by trade and was proud of my work.


I am one of four siblings. I just became a great uncle in December. When family comes to visit, we always go to baseball games and all the local festivals that Gulfport has to offer. 


What do you consider your "moment"?
When I was 14-15 years old, I belonged to the YMCA Leadership Club and one of the things I did was teach little kids, just learning to swim, to blow bubbles and kick their feet in the water, and basic swimming techniques. They got so good at it they wanted to jump off the diving board. I had to be out in the middle of the pool, to catch and bring them to the side of the pool. [My moment is] doing all this and not showing the kids that I have a great fear of water, as I almost drowned when I was their age.

What advice would you give to young people starting out on their own?
Always help others and do the best you can.

Read more from: Seniors