Vincent A. Racitano, 84, of 627 Foote Ave., Jamestown, died at 11:40 a.m. Tuesday (March 25, 2014) in the Erie Veterans Administration Medical Center.
He was born in James-town on March 20, 1930, the son of Frank and Mary Moscato Racitano.
Vincent was a 1950 graduate of Jamestown High School and with his friend, Mike Montagna, and cousin, Dominic Mallare, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He was in active duty from 1950-53 and served as a master gunner and as a chief gunner instructor. As a marksman, he competed in the World Skeet Shoot Competition alongside many stars, including Clark Gable and Robert Stack (of "The Untouchables"). At age 23, he won the Texas State Skeet Championship with a score of 200 out of 200. Vince was the Chautauqua County Class AA Skeet Champion for many years. He was a member of the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club, the Falconer Rod & Gun Club, Marco Polo Club and American Legion Herman Kent Post 777. He was a former member of the Knights of Columbus, Local 66 Carpenters Union and the Gaeta Club. He was a communicant of St. James Catholic Church.
Vince gave 200 percent in all endeavors. He learned carpentry as a young child, working side by side with his father. Ironically, Vincent's father's (Frank) last years of working were with his son, Vincent's construction sites. Starting his career as a master carpenter, for over 40 years, Vincent never had a recall on any of his work. He was employed by Scalise Brothers Construction as a foreman and superintendent and at the age of 25 he was in charge of moving a bridge at Dahlstrom's Manufacturing.
In 1965, he founded V&N Construction Co. Inc., a union company building.
He built 11 churches, a school, the original Ironstone Restaurant, Brass Rail and numerous projects at Chautauqua Institution, including the Amphitheater, Anthenaeum Hotel, Dance Studios and the Miller Bell Tower.
As a family man, he enjoyed boating, fishing and vacationing with his wife and four children. Vince was an avid hunter for small- and big-game animals. He loved to hunt in Colorado, Wyoming and Newfoundland with his father, his two sons and their friends. His hobbies included gardening, making sausage and wine, cooking (a gourmet chef), golf, bocce and dancing. He also built several soap box derby winning cars for his grandson and friends.
In 1994, Vincent and Mary became the dance leaders for the Italian Quadriglia. Together they en-joyed 40 years of performing and teaching folk and round dancing in public schools both in New York and Pennsylvania and for the National Federation of Italian Folk Art at their annual conferences held throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Being proficient in the Italian language, Vincent chaperoned Jamestown High School students to Cantu, Italy. Both Mary and Vincent were affiliated with Jamestown's Sister City Committee.
Vincent is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Mary Reale Racitano, whom he married on May 11, 1957, in St. James Catholic Church; two sons: Dr. Frank (Lori) Racitano, Frewsburg, Vincent C. Racitano, Jamestown; two daughters: Mary Kay (Jerome) Moss, Fredonia and Rose Ann (Thomas) Flick, Erie, Pa.; eight grandchildren: Dan Racitano, Buffalo, Emily Racitano, Charleston, S.C., Kathryn Racitano, Brooklyn, N.Y., Rochelle, Paul, Scott and Ryan (Toni) Flick, Erie, Pa. and Jeremy (Devita) Moss, Elmira, N.Y., two great-grandchildren: Maitao Flick, Florida and Jeriah Moss, Elmira, N.Y.; a brother, Louis Racitano and a brother-in-law, Thomas Pintagro, Jamestown and a brother-in-law, Robert Strausser II, Bradenton, Fla. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
He was preceded in death by his precious sister, Rose Pintagro and brothers-in-law, Patsy Antonuccio, James Calanni and Paul Reale.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday in St. James Catholic Church. The Rev. John L. Kuhlmann, will be the celebrant.
Burial will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
The family will received friends on Thursday from 4-7 p.m. in the Hubert Funeral Home and Cremation Services where a Christian Wake Service will be held at 3:35 p.m.
Memorials may be made to Hospice Chautauqua Co., 20 W. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, NY 14750 or St. Jude Hospital, P.O. Box 1000 Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908.
You may send condolences to the family by visiting www.hubertfuneralhome.com.