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I really never got to know Vinnie that well...it will forever be my loss! However, our paths did cross on several occasions and I could tell he was someone very special. The first time I met him, I was up at Whitman - my alma mater from almost 50 years ago. We were visiting family during the holidays and my son needed to workout for the upcoming tournaments back home. Vinnie made us feel so welcome ...like I'd known him for years.
I visited Long Island from time to time and would occasionally attend the Whitman team tournament. Again, in every interaction, he made me feel like family. Years later, he would honor me when he called to invite me to the Suffolk County Tournament for the dedication of a new wrestling mat with my name on it. It's an honor that I will never forget.
As fate would have it, my sister worked with him at Whitman and spoke so highly of his interaction with the kids. She was especially impressed with how enthusiastic he was to teach class with the challenged students. He was so patient, so positive. I'm not surprised.
I'll never be able to know just how many lives he touched, but I'm sure the number would be staggering. The work he did upon this earth will bear fruit for years to come.
May his family find peace in knowing that his time on this eath had purpose!
My deepest condolensces to all of you.