The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) extends our heartfelt condolences to 2017 UMD Macedonian Diaspora 40 under 40 Award Recipient Anthony Rizos, on the passing of his father Dr. Nick Rizos due to COVID-19 complications at the young age of 65. Dr. Rizos, a proud first-generation Canadian-born Macedonian, was a distinguished obstetrician and gynecologist and one of the longest-tenured doctors in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, working there from 1983 until his death on July 26, 2020.
Born in Toronto, Canada in 1954, Dr. Rizos was of full Macedonian descent by both parents who were from D’mbeni, Aegean Macedonia. His parents, Dono and Luba Rizoff, emigrated to Canada as refugees during the Greek Civil War in the late 40s and early 50s, followed by his two older sisters years later who were in Romania under Red Cross guardianship as kids at the time. He grew up with Macedonian as his first language and was surrounded by a large extended family who all settled in the Toronto area from D’mbeni. In 1978, he graduated from the University of Toronto with his M.D.
Dr. Rizos was drawn to Arizona not by chance but as a result of his cousin Mary Choncoff who lived in Tempe, Arizona, and worked as a librarian and program director through the State of Arizona’s Department of Education. Since 2003, he proudly served on the Board of Trustees of The Mary Choncoff Fund for Macedonian-American Understanding and Exchange, which was established in 1995 to advance the long-standing academic exchange between Arizona State University and the University of Ss. Kiril and Metodij (UKIM) in Skopje, Macedonia. The Fund supports students studying Macedonian language and culture in the ASU’s Melikian Center’s Critical Languages Institute.
His son Anthony Rizos shared with UMD that his father was quite dedicated to the Fund, and just a month prior to passing, Dr. Rizos was on a Zoom video call with ASU exchange students watching them present on their recent research and prior trips to Macedonia.
Dr. Rizos was laid to rest at Pine Hills Cemetery in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada where his parents, grandparents, sister, and other family members are also buried.
In honor of Dr. Rizos, donations can be made to The Mary Choncoff Fund to advance the study of the Macedonian language and culture by clicking HERE.