Visitation at Funeral Home
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Fredrick J. Chapey & Sons Funeral Home, Inc.
20 Hicksville Road
Bethpage, New York, United States
Thursday, April 27, 2023
St. James R.C. Church
80 Hicksville Road
Seaford, New York, United States
Vincent Joseph Cefalu passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 23, 2023, at the age of 89. Treasured son of the late Jack and Jenny, beloved husband of the late Dorothy Jean, loving father and hero to Vincent Jack and the late Debra Jean, and cherished grandfather of Anton James, Alexandra Jean, and his daughter-in-law Maria Lucia. Loving brother of Evelyn and Uncle Vinny to many nieces and nephews who thought the world of him. He was a friend, mentor, and protector to many more. To know Vincent (Vinny, Papa) was to absolutely love and cherish him. You admire his strength, his commanding presence, but most importantly, the way he made you feel. Vincent was a kind, genuine, goofy, and caring man who touched the lives of all that he met. He would help anybody in any way he could, serving as a loyal and loving patriarch in his family, workplace, and community. Vincent was one of the most selfless individuals you would ever meet, actively choosing to serve others above himself each and every day.
Vincent was born on May 17, 1933, and raised in Brooklyn, New York as a first-generation Italian with his parents and dearest sister Evelyn. He loved and valued his family immensely, and it’s no wonder that he continued to do the same throughout his life. In his teens, he was a delivery boy for a local grocery store, which ended up introducing him to his wonderful wife Dorothy (Dottie). Four years his junior, Dorothy had a crush on the local delivery boy, however he didn’t pay her any attention. It wasn’t until years later, after Vincent served in the navy and Dorothy came to visit him in the hospital, that he began to see her for the breathtaking, spectacular, and kind woman she became. Following that, the rest of their love story is history. Vincent enlisted in the navy at 18-years-old to defend his country, working on the engines of ships and keeping his crew’s Destroyer Escort running. Soon after that, he went to work for the Motor Transport Division of the NYPD as a mechanic, eventually working his way up to shop steward. He proudly worked on the motorcycles and completed many special projects for top individuals within the department, including building the Pope mobile. During his time at the NYPD, he and his wife owned a beautiful ceramic shop that they tended to day and night. Vincent retired from the NYPD at 59-years-old and was one of few civilians to receive an award of recognition upon his retirement. After retiring, Vincent invested his time into his craftsmanship, wood working. He worked as a master craftsman, completing challenging renovations and creating impressive furniture. He could fix or make quite about anything and would happily lend a helping hand to anybody who needed his assistance.
He enjoyed the rest of his life alongside his family, as a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. His grandchildren, Anton and Alexandra, were the light of his and Dorothy’s lives. During this time, he and his family created wonderful memories that will last them a lifetime. Vincent was an incredibly strong, resilient, cheerful man regardless of the challenges he faced during his life. He lost his treasured daughter, Debra (Debbie), at 18-years-old from Cooley’s Anemia, a disorder she had from birth and dealt with all her life. Despite dealing with a loss no parent should have to endure, Vincent remained strong for his wife and son, and in honor of his daughter. Decades later, he took care of his beloved wife for six years prior to her death. He provided her with 24-hour care and assistance the way that only a devoted and selfless husband would do. If there is one thing you should know about Vincent, it is that he did absolutely anything for those that he loved.
In Lieu of Flowers
Donations can be made to the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation.