Vincent Francis “Big Vin” Del Nero, Sr., 88, of Newport, RI died unexpectedly on Friday, November 1, 2013 at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, RI, resulting from injuries sustained in a fall. He was surrounded by his loving family and passed peacefully into the Lord’s arms.
He was born on August 18, 1925 in Newport, RI over the family business, the former Valateria Cleaners, at 474 Thames Street. He was the son of the late Pauloantonio and Assunta (Messore) Del Nero. He was the brother of the late Joseph Del Nero, Mary (Del Nero) Underwood, William Del Nero, Paul Anthony Del Nero Jr., and David E. Del Nero. He was the youngest and the last of his siblings.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Eva Elizabeth “Bette” (Cozzens) Del Nero; daughter Deborah Jean Del Nero Micallef and her husband Vincent Micallef of Portland, OR; daughter Patricia Marcella Del Nero and her husband Andrew Corrigan of New Orleans, LA; son Vincent Francis Del Nero, Jr. and his wife Brenda Dee Del Nero of Cary, NC; four grandchildren Anthony, Dorothy, Clara and Henry; and many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.
Vincent was a graduate of De La Salle Academy, class of 1943, and served in the United States Army, 722nd Railway Operating Battalion, during World War II. He was a marksman and served with distinction earning several medals and participated in numerous campaigns including Northern France, the Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe.
He continued in the family business and was a life-long dry cleaner having owned and operated the Metropolitan Cleaners on Spring Street with his brother David, from 1963 to 1989. He subsequently consulted for Polo Cleaners in Middletown from 1989 to 2011.
Vincent was an active member of the Newport Lions Club since 1954, and was Past President (1964 to 1965). He was also a lifelong member of the Newport B.P.O.E. and in recent years he could always be found in his usual seat between 4:00 and 5:00 enjoying his friends and fellow members.
Big Vin was first and foremost a family man. He was devoted to his wife Bette. He was an active and very involved father and in the words of his children he was the best Dad ‘evah.’ He took great joy in his children and grandchildren and his family always came first. He was selfless, kind, caring and he always had time for others, adopting many friends over the years into his extended family. He enjoyed life and he laughed easily.
Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, November 7, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, November 8, at 10:30 AM at St. Lucy’s Church in Middletown, followed by a burial with Military Honors at St. Columba Cemetery, also in Middletown.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Vincent’s memory may be made to Visiting Nurse Services of Newport & Bristol Counties, P.O. Box 690, Portsmouth, RI 02871 or Lucy’s Hearth, 913 W. Main Road, Middletown, RI 02842.
For more information and online condolences, please visit www.onhfh.com.