Former Patchogue Village Chamber of Commerce President Vincent Grucci died suddenly over the weekend while vacationing in Colombia, the chamber’s executive director confirmed on Monday. He was 57.
An immediate family member of the world renowned Fireworks by Grucci company based in Bellport, Grucci was a key figure in the revitalization of downtown Patchogue. In recent years, he had been living in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area.
“Without question, Vinny was one of the most important and successful Presidents in our Chamber’s history and was an instrumental part of Patchogue’s revitalization we all enjoy today,” said David Kennedy, the chamber’s executive director, in a statement.
Grucci established a successful investment business, Grucci & Associates, and had been operating the company in Florida.
“This passing hits very close to me, as I had the honor to serve on the chamber’s executive board while Vinny was our President,” Kennedy said. “From our shared determination to turn Patchogue around, we became very good friends.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Grucci Family at this difficult time,” he added.
Grucci’s death comes on the 39th anniversary of the explosion and fire that destroyed the fireworks company’s Bellport plant and killed his father James and another Grucci family member in 1983. Vincent Grucci’s brother Felix “Phil” Grucci is currently the CEO of the company.
“When I heard of my cousin Vinny’s passing …on the Anniversary of the explosion I needed a bit to process,” Grucci’s cousin Debbie Belmonte posted today on Grucci’s Facebook page. “Still in disbelief…. of a light so bright that heaven needed you.”
The family is making arrangements to have Grucci’s body flown to New York. Plans for funeral services in the Bellport area are forthcoming.Embed from Getty Images