Vincent Michael DeCaria, February 10, 1957 - August 28, 2019
Born in Fitchburg on Feb 10, 1957 to Vincenzo/'Jimmy' and Catherine/'Kay' (Maida) DeCaria, Vincent attended St. Anthony's grammar school, Fitchburg High School and Mt. Wachusett Community College. As he gew up in the Patch, he learned and adopted his parents' work ethic of service to community, ultimately working to pay his way through life beginning with Mount Wachusett Community College. He was always a hard worker, gainfully employed at various companies over the years, eventually driving tractor trailers and other heavy equipment for local paving and construction companies. Each job he took, he took as a learning experience and applied his collected knowledge to everything he did, sharing it freely.
When he was licensed to sit at the wheel of big rigs he had found a niche for himself. It was the first of the jobs at which he proved himself more than proficient. Early on, in his capacity as heavy equipment operator (and mover) he was dubbed “The Turtle” by his co-workers. In direct accord with his wide-ranging sense of humor and self-downplaying ways, with a big smile he always took pride in the name. It was for a good reason. For safety's sake, before ever stepping into the cab, he always took the longest amount of time checking the various vehicles he drove and, doubly so, checked the loads that he was required to move. He had no accidents* with his rigs. (*Except for that one time he backed into a State Trooper in Townsend Harbor. Not Vin's fault. The Trooper immediately admitted he was at fault for pulling up too close behind the box and therefore not being visible in the mirrors.) He stayed at the big rigs' steering wheels for 18+ years, until Vincent Michael was born. From that moment on, Vin being with and near his son was his topmost priority. That never changed.
Continuously, over the years, Vince was in among the best drivers, with admirable performance records wherever he worked. At the time of his passing, he was employed by the City of Fitchburg's D.P.W. Department, where his experience, skill and knowledge of all types of heavy equipment, along with his reputation for safety made him the go-to guy for some of his co-workers. Most recently, a few acknowledged that his training made all the difference for them in getting their various City and State operating licenses. His brother, Chris was always quick to point out how Vin helped his co-workers get prepared for licensing tests and, in general, help them improve while at the wheel.
He was awarded The 2018 Fitchburg Rotary Award, honoring employees who contributed to the Community, acknowledging his ardor and performance no matter what the task. His brother and the whole Department were happy that he was acknowledged.
He was mechanically inclined and, among other vehicles, he bought, drove and rebuilt a 1974 Chevrolet, 6 cylinder, pick-up truck. He loved mudding so he built it into his own version of a mini-monster truck with a V-8, standard transmission, lift-kit suspension, tires and more. He, Chris and their friends spent many hours playing in the mud. (And they shared this one, harmless, boys-will-be-boys adventure on I-190 in Chris' truck. . . a pre-paved I-190.) Vin was very generous in helping people who had a need for a pick-up truck. He took on many odd jobs in many areas of construction and, like his hobbies, he had wide horizons and was proficient in all of them. In some he was over-proficient, when it came to helping with projects he helped on, one of his nicknames was Captain Overkill. For good reason.
Also, in his off time, along with helping in the background in the family business for Chris and our parents, Vin enjoyed playing goalie for various pick-up teams at the Wallace Civic Center, where he also worked part-time. He tried his hand at City league softball for a couple of seasons. He used to laugh, saying say that was how he got his Italian nose at Moran Field. He considered himself a dubber golfer and enjoyed playing whenever he got the chance.
Vince was the most complete and had his most fun of all when he and his son, Vincent Michael, did things, from Vinny's youngest days. Any thing and everything. It was easily seen that those were times when he was obviously his happiest. He took a great deal of joy cooking for himself and his son. In his son's early school years, he very often baked cupcakes and cookies for school sales or in-class birthday celebrations. From having Vinnie with him when he did his private snow plowing, going to Monster Truck shows, driving radio-controlled race car models, watching him snowboard, watching and coaching him play street hockey, teaching him to drive or just sitting around the house or cooking for him, Vince's smile was always the biggest when he was with his son. No one and no thing held of more importance and love. Recently, upon learning that Vinny, in his junior year, had become one of his the senior year football team's co-captains, he beamed and, in his own quiet Dad-way, bragged for weeks and weeks, it always came up in conversations. His dedication to his son was something of a phenomenon. It will always be a shining example of a Dad's dedication to his son.
He was pre-deceased by his sister, Rosemarie (DeCaria) Miller-Kaplow, his father, Vincenzo DeCaria and his mother, Catherine (Maida) DeCaria. He is survived by and will be missed by his son, Vincent Michael DeCaria, Jr., his family and many friends and acquaintances.
In accordance with Vin's wishes, there will be neither funeral nor graveside services. There will be a commemorative gathering and celebration of his life on Saturday, September 7, at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Electric Avenue, next to Coggshall Park. It will begin at 5:00 p.m. At 6 p.m., there will be a sharing of sentiments by family and friends. There will follow time to enjoy a small repast prepared by Il Forno and to socialize with remembrances of Vinnie and reconnections of his circles friendships. In lieu of flowers, Vin asked for educational scholarship donations for his son or to any City charity of your choice.