Vincent Grucci, who left his family’s business Bellport fireworks so that he could become a financial planner and later in life created an events series that helped revitalise downtown Patchogue, died in Colombia on Sunday. He was 58.
Grucci, whose brother Felix is the CEO of Fireworks by Grucci, died nearly 39 years after an explosion at the company’s facility on November 26, 1983, killed his father, James, and another family member.
Grucci had moved to Florida
According to family members, Vincent Grucci, who had just relocated to Palm Beach, Florida, had worked very hard for the family company before striking out on his own. Grucci and Associates was his own investing and financial planning firm.
According to Grucci’s mother, Patricia Perry, clients sought his advice on financial matters and other aspects of their lives.
“He enjoyed meeting and helping people,” she told Newsday on Monday. “He enjoyed being with people, helping them and guiding them.”
He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday with internal bleeding and died the following day, according to Grucci.
Perry said that her niece, Danielle Butler, was in Colombia on Monday to arrange for the return of Grucci’s remains to the United States. She said that her son would most likely be in Colombia.
Perry said that funeral plans were awaiting the recovery of her son’s body.
Grucci has three sisters, Debra Sullivan of Riparius, Collette Saxe of Richfield Springs, New York, and Michelle Smothergill of Shirley, and two more brothers, James Grucci of Patchogue and Gary Grucci of Fort Lauderdale, who live in Florida.
Grucci grew raised in Bellport before moving to Middle Island with his family. According to his mother, he graduated from Longwood High School.
The financial condition could have been better!
In the year 2000 to 2003, he was also the president of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce while working as a financial planner. Patchogue was formerly a run-down downtown with abandoned businesses, according to David Kennedy, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.
Kennedy described Grucci as a “genuine community leader.” He was unquestionably influential in reviving Patchogue.” He further said Grucci was instrumental in forming the Greater Patchogue Foundation, which sponsors activities such as parades and village beautification projects.
Another of Grucci’s ideas was to host a series of summer events dubbed “Alive After Five,” which would include music and other activities to entice consumers to visit the town. According to Kennedy, Grucci believes the street festival will be a “wonderful opportunity to build some downtown interest in our region.” This was back when Patchogue, believe it or not, had no nightlife.”
Felix Grucci recalls being hesitant when his nephew originally proposed the idea, believing that no one would go to Patchogue late at night.
“Shows how much I knew about local entertainment,” he said.
Kennedy said the series has helped transform the village.
“That probably did more than he imagined it would do,” he said. “We’ll be doing ‘Alive After Five’ forever because it’s something that people expect of Patchogue.”