Vincent Santilli

Obituary of Vincent Santilli

LATHAM - Vincent Santilli, 93, died February 12, 2024, exactly as he wanted, at home, under the loving care of his family, after a period of declining health but a life well lived.

Born August 6, 1930, in the small town of Pratola Peligna, Province of L'Aquila in the mountainous Abruzzo region of Italy to the late Vincenzo and Vincenza (DiNino) Santilli.

Vincent, known as Vince to many, and "Cousin Jimmy" to some, faced significant loss at a tender age. His father died of meningitis just before he was born, and his mother died shortly after giving birth to his sister when he was just nine years old. He was raised with love by his grandmother Nonna Loretta DiNino, and grew up with cousins Consiglio and Dino like brothers and under the watchful eyes of Zia Vincenza and Zia Laurina.

He attended Politecnico Instituto Parificato for two years hoping to be an architect before bravely emigrating from Italy at the age of 17 when he was called to America by his paternal Uncle Louie and Zia Fenizia Santilli in Hartford, CT. He then moved to Watervliet to live with his mother's brother Bill DiNino and family. Shortly after, he met the lovely Mary Grace "Gracie" Gulli of Troy and shared 20 years of marriage before her passing.

He was fortunate to find great love again with wife Giovanna "Jane" Pascazio building a beautiful family and marriage for 48 years and devotedly cared for her during her battle with Parkinson's and lung cancer until her death in 2018.

Vince was a valued employee for 15 years in the garment industry working for Burke-Ray, Marshall-Ray and Troymake. He then became a proud UAW member working for Ford Motor Company for 20 years. When the Green Island plant closed, he retired and joined Giovanna in starting their own small business, Gio-Vin Quality Fashions, specializing in the manufacture of Ursula of Switzerland evening gowns. This man never stopped moving!

Despite the adversity and loss he experienced, Vince displayed a quiet, emotional strength and continued to whistle his way through life. "Whaddya gonna do" is his signature phrase and his resilient attitude is an example for all who knew him. He loved tending his garden and battling the yard critters who enjoyed his home-grown tomatoes as much as he did. Sunday dinner was the highlight of his week where he would sit at the head of the table, glass of wine in hand, surrounded by those he loved. He was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather and shared fully in the care of house and kids.

In addition to his beloved sister America "Anna" (Liberatore) Fitzhugh of Maine, he leaves behind his heartbroken daughter Lora (Dan Lang) of Castleton and devastated son Vince (Dianne) of Stillwater as well as son Peter (former wife Cathy) who he raised as his own from an early age.

He was a proud Nonno too, and the world's best pastina maker for, his six grandchildren Francesca (Scott) Lindgren, Sabrina Santilli, Alyssandra and Olivia Lang, McKenna Santilli, and his cherished namesake Vincent Santilli, as well as his two great grandsons, James and Ethan who never failed to make him smile with their frequent FaceTime chats from Colorado.

He is mourned by in laws Franco & Chella, Pascazio, late Ralph & Fran Pascazio, Rosa & late Lello Cavallo, Nina & Rocco DiCarlo, and Donato & Kathy Pascazio, as well as his nieces and nephews and their families: Tonia (Steve), Sabrina, Cinto (Beth), Anthony (Moani), late Raffaella, Gigi (AnnaMaria), Giacinto (Roberta), Maurizio (Donatella), Angelo (Michelle), Mina (David), Antonia (Les), Mariann, Daniel (Lynn), and Nicholas (Laura).

He was loved and remembered by the extended Santilli family (Fulvio, Edmond, Emma, Gloria, Anna, Jake, Jordan and Cousin Debbie) and DiNino family (Laura, Anne Marie, Con & late Shiela, Dino & Antoinetta and Cinzia, Laura and Lorenzo and their families).

He will be missed by many dear friends who visited frequently for a glass of wine or Italian coffee with anisette. Daddy loved his red wine and telling stories. In his honor, pour a glass, add a splash of water, and share a memory you have of this remarkable man with us.

Special thanks to Doctors Benton, Farooq, Sulzman, Santos and Lopasic, and Jo Ann Tedeschi for keeping him healthy and active well into his 90s! Also to our "Nurse Angel" Marita and the entire Hospice team who strived to make his final weeks at home as comfortable as possible.

In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting The Community Hospice or a charity of your choice.

Family and friends are invited to visit on Sunday, February 18th from 2-5 p.m. at The Dufresne & Cavanaugh Funeral Home, 149 Old Loudon Road, Latham. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, February 19th at 10 a.m. at St. Ambrose Church, 347 Old Loudon Road, Latham. Interment and Rite of Committal will immediately follow at St. Mary's Cemetery, Middletown Road, Waterford.

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Visitation at Funeral Home

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sunday, February 18, 2024
Dufresne & Cavanaugh Funeral Home
149 Old Loudon Road
Latham, New York, United States

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am
Monday, February 19, 2024
St. Ambrose Church
347 Old Loudon Road
Latham, New York, United States

Final Resting Place

11:30 am
Monday, February 19, 2024
St. Mary's Cemetery
Middletown Road
Waterford, New York, United States
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