John Richard 'Dick' Vinci, 79, born Oct. 7, 1932, in Olney Springs, Colo., passed away peacefully and entered God's kingdom on Feb. 13, 2012. He leaves to celebrate his life, his wife, Willamae (Mae Culig) Vinci; his children, Ted (Kelly), Tim (Tracy) and Tom; his grandchildren, TJ, Thomas, Michael and Michelle; great-grandson, Kaden; and his sister, Betty Hatton; as well as numerous special relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Eva (Fleener) Vinci and William J. and Josephine (Brubnjak) Culig. Dick worked as a math teacher in District 60 for 37 years and as a math instructor at the University of Southern Colorado for 14 years. He graduated from Central High School, Class of 1950, attended Pueblo Junior College from 1950-1952, graduated from Sacramento State University in 1955, and served in the U.S. Army from 1955-1957. He is a member of the Greater Pueblo Sports Hall of Fame, Pueblo referee study group, and was a high school and college basketball referee for over 20 years. He loved Pueblo athletics, and tutored many students in math and especially enjoyed watching his grandsons wrestle, play basketball and baseball and run track. A special thank you to Dr. Jim Stjernholm and the staff members of Sangre de Cristo Hospice. In lieu of flowers and food, contributions may be made in care of Montgomery & Steward Funeral Directors, 1317 N. Main St., Pueblo, CO 81003, to the Richard Vinci Memorial Scholarship fund. Memorial services will be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, at Our Lady of the Meadows Catholic Church, 23 Starling Drive. Dinner will follow in the church basement. Online condolences, www.montgomerysteward.com

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  1. Mr. Vinci left a lasting impression on me when I was a student at South High School. He called me “the great procrastinator” because I always handed my work in late or at the last possible moment. Well, that stuck with me throughout college and throughout my military career. Whenever I want to put something off to later that I can do now, I remember his words. They motivate me to get going and to not waste a single moment. Thank you Mr. Vinci. You made a positive impact on my life and the lives of many students.

  2. I am sorry for your loss. Mr. Vinci was one of my math teachers at East High, oh so long ago. He was a good teacher–and fair. I only have good memories of his class and of him.

    Kathy DeCesaro
    EHS 1963

  3. I remember my senior year, a Monday morning in March 1981.
    I had Mr. Vinci for first hour; I was late as usual. But this day was very different. It was the weekend of the girls State Basketball tournament and we had lost in the Championship game by 3 points.
    I remember this moment as if it were yesterday, his voice, his words of praise, his arm around me and the comfort he made me feel.
    As I opened the door to enter the classroom, everyone was talking including Mr. Vinci. He then stopped and looked at me, the room became very quiet. He walked over, put his arm around me and said in his deep voice: ‘You did good kid, I’m proud of you! ‘Now go sit down and let me try to teach you something.’ That moment brought tears to my eyes and to a few other students in the room that day.
    Well, you did teach me, all four years of my high school career and on, you taught me about Algebra, Computer Science and life!
    Thank you Mr. Vinci it was a real honor!

  4. Vinci Family,

    I was so sorry to learn that Mr. Vinci had passed. I have fond memories of Mr. Vinci educating us in math, sports, and life. He gave John Ivan endless grief for never coming to class with a pencil. We have had many a laugh over the years on this very subject. He had a favorable impact on us and I am sure many others. He will truly be missed and my deepest sympathy goes out to all family and friends.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers!

    John Parlapiano

  5. Mae, Ted, Tim, and Tom;
    We were very sorry to learn of Dick’s passing. He was a good friend and colleague of mine. We had such great times at Pitts and South teaching and coaching together. I will never forget those sharp elbows during our pickup basketball games at Pitts. I know I had the benefit of his experience and influence in my teaching and coaching career. I will never forget what a great guy he was.
    Unfortunately we were not in town to attend the funeral services.

    Our sincere condolences,

    Gary and Kathy Salimeno

  6. Very sad to get your message. Dick and I were teammates at Sacto State for 3 years for the basketball team. Our team still holds the record for most wins in one season.
    We had special times in those years. Great player, better person and lot of humor. I was waiting for him to give me his choices of the NCAA BB finals, as he has for years. Now he will know the results and finnally be a winner.
    Wish all the family to know how he helped guide some of the ‘OLDER GUYS’, some 58 years ago. God bless .

    George Larsen

  7. To the Vinci Family,
    I was very sad to read of Mr. Vinci’s passing. My prayers to you all. Mr. Vinci made such a great difference in my education that prepared me for my career. He was even kind enough to help me during my college years when I needed some guidance. Mr. Vinci made math an enjoyable class because I was able to “get it”. He truly is the one teacher whom I am indebted to and always in my fondest memories. Thank you Mr. Vinci for sharing your gift with so many. Respectfully, Theresa (Hernandez) Cowger, MAJ/AN/U S Army, South High Class of 1977.

  8. My prayers, Mae, for you an the family. Dick is Home, face to face with the Lord whom he served so faithfully. Know I love you, and will be praying WITH you as you grieve the loss of a beloved friend and husband! Sister Annina

  9. I am surrounded by Him every day at school. I have the honor of teaching in Mr. Vinci’s Room, #11. He is my colleague, my mentor, and my dear friend, and always will be with me in my heart. I am leaving today to visit my grandchildren in Tennessee which I know Dick would approve of! My love to all of you and my thoughts are with you. Lynn

  10. The outpouring of generousity, support and kindness has been overwhelming. The people of Pueblo and this community are absolutely amazing. I want to thank everyone who has sent food, signed the guest book, called and attended the service. My father will be dearly missed but never forgotten. Thank you so much!

  11. Mae and the Vinci family,

    You are in my thoughts and prayers today. Dick was the gentlest of giants in so many ways, but none greater than being the perfect teacher (as were you Mae). His time on earth may have ended but his legacy of goodness and love continues in all of you and the hundreds of young lives he touched in the classroom or on the courts and fields. May God’s choicest blessings be with you.

  12. I was sorry to read of Dick’s passing. I taught with him at South. He was always such a gentleman and had a great sense of humor. My sympathy goes out to his family. I will keep them in my prayers.

  13. Thank you to all who have signed the condolence book. You have no idea how much your messages mean to us. We miss Papa so much, and to know that he left such an impact in your lives gives us such joy. Papa would be so proud of all of you and tell you to do the best you can in your lives, personally and professionally! Be the best you can, make a positive difference in the world,and love one another. Tracy and Tim Vinci

  14. I was saddened to learn of the passing of Mr Vinci. He was a tremendous math teacher and a kind & caring person that provided guidance as a role model for those of us that knew him at Pitts Jr & South High schools. I know he had a strong influence on many of our lives making us all better people just by being associated with him.

  15. I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Vinci I too was a student of his at South High many years ago. I will always remember his wonderful smile and gentle manner. My thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.

  16. I’ve been fortunate to be associated with a family as dear to my heart as the Vinci family. From playing “Elf,” having Mr. Vinci as my teacher, to talking to him as I walked the dogs. He touched my life as well as my heart. He always asked me “How’s Lana today.”

    In church when his grandsons were little– with Mrs. Vinci by his side–third row to the west– he played with the kids. He enjoyed his grandson’s as much as my dad did.

    It was a privilege to grow up with outstanding role-models like Mr. and Mrs. Vinci. I will always hold your family with the greatest regards.

    My dad talked about how Mr. Vinci dominated the Knights of Columbus basketball league. Dad said Mr. Vinci gave cheap shots under the basket. My dad proudly bragged that he always got the rebounds. Who knows,they may be creating a new basketball league in Heaven.

    Although a loss like this is heart wrenching, your family has been blessed.

    Memories are the string that holds us all together.

  17. to the Vinci Family I extend my sincere condolences and Prayers. Mr. Vinci was a a great man, model Teacher and a guiding light in my years at South High!

  18. Mae and family, We are sorry to hear of your loss. We really didn’t know Dick but felt close to him thru you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless.

  19. Mr Vinci you were one of my favorite teachers ever at South High School and it was my pleasure to have known you! You will truly be missed but never forgotten. My thoughts and prayers with your family.

    God Bless you!
    Marilyn Ford class of 92′

  20. Mr Vinci you were one of my favorite teachers ever at South High School and it was my pleasure to have known you! You will truly be missed but never forgotten. My thoughts and prayers with your family.

    God Bless you!
    Marilyn Ford class of 92′

  21. Mr. Vinci was a rock in the lives of many of us fortunate to have been taught, mentored, and shaped during the turbulent late 60’s and early 70’s. He was a firm, kind, fair and loving man to many of us ‘screwballs’ struggling through adolescence. He had a special gift of building relationships with us, showing an interest in our lives outside of math class, and supporting our passions. May the Lord grace your family with peace during this time of loss. What a tremendous legacy has been left with the Vinci’s and the city of Pueblo. God bless.

  22. Dear Mrs. Vinci and family –

    I’m so sorry to hear of your husband’s passing. However, I read of the legacy he has left behind and know you share some very special memories and have a beautiful family to show for your years together. My prayers are with you, your sons, and your grandchildren at this difficult time.

    God Bless you all.

    Rob Predolich

  23. “Big Dick”, so sorry to hear of your passing. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to all of your friends and family. I will always remember your dry wit and sense of humor. Rest in peace.

  24. We are saddened at the loss of Mr. Vinci. He was a good friend and gentle man. He used to cheer our son Kevin at basketball games as he was his favorite player in the whole world. I could hear him say even now “Give it to kevin” I think he treated everyone on the team as his favorite player he is a great man and the impact he had on the kid’s was more then you could imagine. we pray for the Vincy family to heal from this loss but we know heaven rejoices at their new son…Gil, Bridget,Kevin, Ryan Trujillo..

  25. From Our Family to Yours,

    Prayers of understanding and healing as you celebrate the life of a great man! May the light of God’s love light your way through the darkness!!!

    Peace be with you all!

    The Kirkpatrick Family

    Andy, Sheri, Alexa + Julia

  26. To Willa, Tommy and the entire Vinci family,
    I’m so sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. Our thoughts are with you at this time.

    Chris Romero(Sanchez) and family.

  27. The family wants to thank everyone for the outpouring of condolences, support, food you have sent our way. Thank you very much and God Bless.

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